April 22: Arkansas at 2,392 cases; Active: 1,455; Elective surgeries to resume next week

There are 2,392 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 tested to date in Arkansas.

7:45 PM

Cumulative Confirmed Cases: 2,392

Deaths: 44

Recovered: 893

Total Active Cases: 1,455

Total Tested: 31,442

Notes: Cummins is up to 681 inmates, 14 staff have tested positive. Additional testing is going to be performed at other barracks at Cummins on both prisoners and staff. Most of the Cummins tests have been included in the overall case number.

Source: Governor’s afternoon press conference.

7:45 PM

NEA County Numbers:

  • Randolph County: 14 positive, 8 recoveries, 271 negative
  • Clay County: 1 positive, 0 recoveries, 124 negative
  • Cleburne County: 71 positive, 52 recoveries, 141 negative, 4 deaths
  • Craighead County: 49 positive, 28 recoveries, 561 negative, 1 death
  • Crittenden County: 147 positive, 70 recoveries, 723 negative, 5 deaths
  • Fulton County: 0 positive, 0 recoveries, 31 negative
  • Greene County: 13 positive, 3 recoveries, 422 negative
  • Independence County: 8 positive, 4 recoveries, 141 negative
  • Jackson County: 1 positive, 1 recoveries, 46 negative
  • Lawrence County: 29 positive, 2 recoveries, 164 negative, 1 death
  • Mississippi County: 9 positive, 6 recoveries, 61 negative
  • Poinsett County: 11 positive, 7 recoveries, 66 negatives
  • Sharp County: 2 positives, 2 recoveries, 34 negative
  • Don’t see your county? Click here to find it on ADH’s map.

1:30 PM

Governor to allow elective surgeries again next week

Effective Monday, April 27, Governor Hutchinson will lift restrictions on elective surgical procedures for Arkansas hospital and medical providers. These will not be patients who need overnight stays. They will be required to have no symptoms of COVID-19 or contact with anyone who is positive for the 14 days prior. They must be healthy and procedures will begin with limitations on numbers to slowly grow back to capacity.

The governor said May 4 is the target date to begin lifting social distancing restrictions, provided that cases are still growing at a slow rate. He said he intends to continue reviewing data and set several dates of note:

  • April 29, an announcement on reopening restaurants will be made.
  • April 30, an announcement will be made with regard to gyms.
  • May 1, an announcement will be made regarding beauty and barber salons.
  • May 4, an announcement regarding places of worship and larger congregations of gathering size

7:45 PM

United States: 839,675 positive

46,583 have died.

Global: 2,623,415 positive

183,027 have died.

Source: Johns Hopkins University

Tracking the Growth

New cases and tests by date. Updated Tuesday night. Courtesy Dr. Pat Carroll
Cumulative and active cases measured. Updated Tuesday night. Courtesy Dr. Pat Carroll

Jonesboro council votes 8-3 to extend curfew

At Tuesday night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting, following spirited debate, the group voted 8-3 in favor of extending the curfew in the city for another two weeks. Bobby Long, Mitch Johnson, and Chris Gibson voted against extending the curfew. If Mayor Harold Perrin hasn’t lifted the curfew by May 5, it will be reevaluated by the council then.

The curfew is 10 PM to 6 AM and primarily applies to those meeting in congregational settings like parking lots to talk.

Chief of Police Rick Elliott said driving to get a bite to eat in the middle of the night for those who work late is not going to get someone in trouble and stressed that his officers would be understanding if someone with a legitimate reason to be out was stopped.

Lawsuit filed accusing Arkansas of not taking care of prisoners

On Tuesday, a civil rights lawsuit was filed accusing Arkansas of not taking necessary steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in its prisons. At least 670 inmates in the Cummins Unit alone have tested positive, all from a single barracks. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Disability Rights Arkansas and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas filed the lawsuit. Read more here from US News and World Report.

President Trump to sign Executive Order barring immigration today

Russia, China and Iran using crisis to attack US with propaganda

The three aforementioned nations are pushing a narrative that the novel coronavirus is an American bioweapon. They’re claiming the virus didn’t come from China and instead, US troops spread it. The allegations are also that the US is scoring political points from the crisis and that sanctions are killing Iranians. They go onto claim China did a great job while the US was negligent. Read more from Politico, via Yahoo! News.

First COVID-19 deaths in America happened earlier than thought

The first COVID fatality in America, pregviously thought to have happened on Feb. 29, actually happened as early as Feb. 6, a medical examiner revealed on Tuesday. Limited testing availablity at the time made it impossible to determine the extent that the virus was already present in America. Read more from the LA Times. 

Computer projections say Arkansas shouldn’t relax until June 20

Arkansas is one of twelve states being advised to relax social distancing guidelines until at least June 8, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The projections are based on the rate of new daily infections falling below one per million residents in a given state. By their numbers, that would mean about three new infections a day in Arkansas.

Tuesday, April 21 data suggests Arkansas wait until June 20 to reopen. Missouri is advised to wait until June 7. Tennessee: May 20. Read more from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Context available from GeekWire here).

US government sending checks to dead people

A report from Politico says the IRS is sending checks out so fast, many dead people are getting payments. With over 150 million checks being rushed out, the IRS is supposed to check death records before sending out the money. However, the government doesn’t have real-time data on who has died. Read more from Politico. 

1:20 PM

Update on Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab as of Wednesday morning

This story will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 with coronavirus related headlines. Check back/refresh for the latest news and updated numbers.

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