There are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sebastian County, at least one in Crawford County. But where are they? Talk Business and Politics has tried to narrow it down to cities. No one will say.
The Arkansas Department of Health said they cannot share the cities in which cases have occurred or any hospitals to which patients have been admitted because of privacy issues. They are only sharing numbers in counties.
Neither Mercy-Fort Smith nor Baptist Health-Fort Smith will release information. Representatives from Baptist Health said due to HIPPA privacy rules, the hospital is “not at liberty to disclose that kind of information.”
“We are directing everything through the Arkansas Department of Health and must defer to them with regards to COVID patient totals. We must continue to follow patient privacy laws and not divulge information that could potentially make a Mercy patient identifiable. I know Baptist Health is following these regulations as well,” said Mercy-Fort Smith spokesperson Mardi Taylor.
What is known is as of Tuesday (March 31) morning, there were 508 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas, up from 473 Monday afternoon. There have been seven deaths and 32 reported recoveries. There have been six positive test results in Sebastian County and 63 negative test results. There are one to four positive results in Crawford County and 25 negative test results.
There is no released number of how many tests have been given in each county or how many are waiting for results. In Northwest Arkansas, Benton County has 38 positive COVID cases and 410 negative tests. Washington County has 18 positive test results and 338 negative.
A lack of testing supplies has resulted in fewer than 800 tests a week in the state. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Arkansas was 62 on Monday, a big rise from the 43 on Sunday. As of noon Tuesday, there were 165,874 U.S. cases and 3,178 deaths. Globally, there were 825,412 cases and 40,682 deaths.