Updated COVID-19 modeling from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) shows success in containing the virus in the state, but provides a reminder as to the deadly nature of the virus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday (Sept. 16).
The UAMS modeling, updated Tuesday (Sept. 15), projects 121,062 known COVID cases and 2,088 deaths by Oct. 31. The long-term estimates predict a decline in mean-case COVID cases from 90,522 to 83,605, with the death projection falling from 2,263 to 2,090.
During a COVID briefing held Wednesday at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Gov. Hutchinson said the modeling reflects “some of the success” the state has had in reducing the rate of case growth, including reducing the number of hospitalizations. But the death projection is alarming.
“But on the other side, they really give us a wake-up call as to the seriousness of this COVID-19. Because their latest projection is that we could have an increase of 980 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 here in Arkansas. And whenever they make a projection like that, I think about lives lost. I think about the seriousness of this disease and how we need to avoid the spread of the infections,” he said.
He also noted the UAMS modeling suggesting more new cases resulting from the opening of schools and universities.
“That’s a challenge for us to make sure we do it safely so that we don’t add to the spread and new cases. And I applaud our education partners that have been doing this,” Gov. Hutchinson said.
In response to a media question about the 400 to 700 daily range of new cases being a new normal until a vaccine is available, Gov. Hutchinson said the range is “encouraging” because it indicates no growth, but the numbers remain too high.
“But it is settling at too high of a number. I would still like to see that number reduced. … We can survive through it, we can manage through it, but it’s just too many cases and we can do better than that. And I think it can be reduced, and that would ultimately save lives,” he said.
COVID REPORT – Sept. 16
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 70,731, with 606 new community cases and 9 new cases in correctional facilities
• 1,488 “probable” cases
• There are 5,572 active cases, down from 5,703 on Tuesday
• There were 6,360 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 529 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours with 95 positive results.
• 1,010, up 7
• 139 “probable” COVID-related deaths
387, down 2
65, down 3
The top five counties with new known cases reported Wednesday were: Washington (65), Pulaski (58), Benton (37), Faulkner (31), and Jefferson (29). The counties accounted for 36.85% of the 597 new community cases.
As of Wednesday at 1 p.m., there were 6,607,955 U.S. cases and 196,254 deaths. Globally, there were 29,656,504 cases and 936,905 deaths.