The number of Covid-19 cases in Arkansas continues to climb with an increase of 595 new cases and 10 more deaths over the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 5,221 active cases with 248 hospitalized, Arkansas Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith reported Tuesday.

The 595 new cases brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 16,678. The 10 additional deaths brings the total number of deaths to 237.

By the end of September, Arkansas could reach a peak of more than 133,000 cases with more than 3,326 hospitalizations, according to projections in a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences model.

“The statistical models are projected to continue along the current trajectory, peaking in late September, early October,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at a news briefing Tuesday afternoon in Mountain Home. “Our goal is to change the trajectory…”

Hutchinson said the trajectory is changed by the Arkansas Department of Health’s massive testing, contact tracing, isolation and breaking up the strains of transmission as well as discipline and social distancing by individual citizens. “Everybody has a part to play,” he said.

Dr. Smith said the predictive models are based upon what is known about the virus, how it spreads, and the conditions as they now exist.

“It is very concerning that the way this virus spreads, and it can spread very quickly, could result in a large number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in our state,” Smith said. “But, we have also learned how to protect ourselves against Covid-19 and reduce the spread.”

Protective measures, including social distancing, wearing masks, handwashing, and remaining at home if symptomatic, can limit the spread of covid-19, Smith said.

“In settings where those (practices) are not occurring, where the physical distancing is not there, where people are not wearing masks, we’ve seen very explosive spread of Covid-19, particularly in congregant settings, but in other community settings as well,” Smith said. “So it is very important for us each to do our part, not only to take those measures ourselves, but also to remind one another.”