Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday he is extending the public health emergency an additional 60 days as the coronavirus continues to spread in Arkansas.

Following his announcement, Hutchinson gave an update of Covid-19 cases.

“First of all, there’s not any good news in this report today,” he said.

The number of confirmed and probable cases in Arkansas increased by 2,718 over the last 24 hours and 66 more people have died as a result of the virus. Coronavirus hospitalizations are also increasing with six more over the last 24 hours. There were 1,161 residents hospitalized with the virus, Hutchinson reported.

Hutchinson said vaccines will “turn the tide”, but he is not satisfed with the pace the vaccines are being administered, particularly at long-term care facilities.

As of Tuesday morning, 1,680 of the 31,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is initially allocated for residents and staff at long-term care facilities, have been administered and just over 48 percent of the Pfizer vaccine doses, which are initially allocated to health care workers, have been administered, according to Hutchinson.

“I expect that pace to pick up considerably in the coming days but I am not satisfied with the pace of the vaccination, particularly in our long-term care facilities,” he said. He later added that pharmacies and hospitals are “tasked with a tremendous logistics challenge” in getting the vaccines administered.

Health officials have warned holiday gatherings and travel are likely to further spread the virus.

“What we are seeing right now is the surge in cases from Thanksgiving,” Hutchinson said.

Since Thanksgiving, the state has seen a one-third increase in the daily new cases and a 10 percent increase in hospitalizations. “One-third increase in new cases led to a 10 percent increase in hospitalizations,” Hutchinson said.

“This is a challenging time for Arkansas because of this,” he said.

Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero said he expects to see a further increase in cases in the next couple of weeks.

“I am asking that you reconsider getting together in a large group,” Romero said. “We are entering into a holiday that is quite festive; we spend a lot of time congregating with people. I am asking that you all reconsider the idea of getting together in a large group. I think if you’re going to have this type of reunion it should be a nuclear family reunion, that is, individuals that are living in your household, and avoid bringing other individuals into your home.”

Covid-19 Cases in Southeast Arkansas

Ashley County

Total Cumulative Cases: 1,236
Confirmed Cases: 1,057
Probable Cases: 179

Total Active Cases: 97
Active Confirmed Cases: 70
Active Probable Cases: 27

Total Recovered Cases: 1,119
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 968
Recovered Probable Cases: 151

Total Deaths: 20
Confirmed Deaths: 19
Probable Deaths: 1

Bradley County

Total Cumulative Cases: 902
Confirmed Cases: 720
Probable Cases: 182

Total Active Cases: 118
Active Confirmed Cases: 83
Active Probable Cases: 35

Total Recovered Cases: 773
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 628
Recovered Probable Cases: 145

Total Deaths: 11
Confirmed Deaths: 9
Probable Deaths: 2

Cleveland County

Total Cumulative Cases: 551
Confirmed Cases: 383
Probable Cases: 168

Total Active Cases: 45
Active Confirmed Cases: 20
Active Probable Cases: 25

Total Recovered Cases: 489
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 348
Recovered Probable Cases: 141

Total Deaths: 17
Confirmed Deaths: 15
Probable Deaths: 2

Chicot County

Total Cumulative Cases: 1,389
Confirmed Cases: 1,301
Probable Cases: 88

Total Active Cases: 43
Active Confirmed Cases: 37
Active Probable Cases: 6

Total Recovered Cases: 1,317
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 1,236
Recovered Probable Cases: 81

Total Deaths: 29
Confirmed Deaths: 28
Probable Deaths: 1

Desha County

Total Cumulative Cases: 929
Confirmed Cases: 790
Probable Cases: 139

Total Active Cases: 117
Active Confirmed Cases: 87
Active Probable Cases: 30

Total Recovered Cases: 801
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 693
Recovered Probable Cases: 108

Total Deaths: 11
Confirmed Deaths: 10
Probable Deaths: 1

Drew County

Total Cumulative Cases: 1,414
Confirmed Cases: 1,126
Probable Cases: 288

Total Active Cases: 161
Active Confirmed Cases: 128
Active Probable Cases: 33

Total Recovered Cases: 1,235
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 983
Recovered Probable Cases: 252

Total Deaths: 18
Confirmed Deaths: 15
Probable Deaths: 3

Lincoln County

Total Cumulative Cases: 2,805
Confirmed Cases: 2,600
Probable Cases: 205

Total Active Cases: 77
Active Confirmed Cases: 45
Active Probable Cases: 32

Total Recovered Cases: 2,703
Recovered Confirmed Cases: 2,534
Recovered Probable Cases: 169

Total Deaths: 24
Confirmed Deaths: 20
Probable Deaths: 4

— Arkansas Department of Health