On March 11, the state reported a case of Covid-19 in Jefferson County. It was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Arkansas. By the end of June the number of confirmed cases had surpassed 20,000.

At his daily Covid-19 briefing on Monday, June 29, Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 439 new cases and one additional death over the previous 24 hours. The 439 new cases brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 20,257. The additional death brings the total number of deaths attributed to the virus to 265. The number of hospitalizations increased by seven to 300. Currently, there are 5,926 active cases.

Hutchinson said he spoke with other governors and Vice President Mike Pence in a conference call Monday morning. One of the things they talked about was people not following social distancing guidlines or wearing masks.

Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith stressed the importance of social distancing and wearing masks in decreasing the transmission and number of new Covid-19 cases.

“In simplest terms, Covid-19 being a respiratory virus, whenever people are breathing each other’s air there is the opportunity of transmission. Obviously, more of that has been occurring because we’ve seen more transmission and more cases.” Smith said. “We know the things we can do to interrupt that: wearing face masks for source control to filter out respiratory droplets by the person wearing the mask and also by maintaining that six-foot distance. But if people are not attentive to those two things in particular, whether it is a work setting or community setting or in the home we will see transmission and we have.”

Smith said individuals as well as those in control of venues, businesses and other places people gather must be very vigilant to minimize the spread of Covid-19.

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