Gov. Hutchinson notes ‘incredible’ work of healthcare workers on 1-year anniversary of COVID in the state

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 289 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday (March 11) he and First Lady Susan Hutchinson will plant an oak seedling on the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion grounds to recognize “lives lost during this pandemic, and a hope for the future that we all have.”

The governor delivered a short address Thursday at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, the location of the state’s first known COVID-19 case which was reported March 11, 2020. James Black, the COVID patient, attended the one-year ceremony.

“Thanks for being here,” Gov. Hutchinson said to Black. “Just by your living example, (and) sharing a story of this last year. It means a lot to the people of Arkansas that you’re willing to be here and commemorate this day.”

In a reference to Sept. 11, 2001, Gov. Hutchinson said March 11 “became our 3-11,” with Arkansans working to adapt, innovate and “and fight through the challenges that we face.” He also praised the “incredible” work of healthcare workers around the state.

“They have had to fight the battle day in and day out. And through their work, they have developed better therapeutics and better management. And the result of that is the combination of the vaccine at work, and the combination of better therapeutics, means that today we drop below 300 in (COVID-19) hospitalizations statewide. And that is the lowest that we’ve had in probably six or seven months,” he said.

Gov. Hutchinson also announced that the Forestry Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is donating 10,000 oak tree seedlings for families to plant in honor of a loved one lost to COVID-19. It is from that program a seedling will be used to plant on the Mansion grounds. (Link here for more info about the seedling donation.)

The Arkansas Health Department (ADH) on Thursday reported 340 new known confirmed and probable COVID cases, bringing the cumulative total to 326,040. The daily case count is well below the record of 4,304 on Jan. 1. Confirmed and active probable cases totaled 3,144, down 83 from the previous day. The active case count is also well below the record of 27,822 on Jan. 9.

The report noted 28 more deaths, bringing the grim tally to 5,410. The state set a daily record for reported deaths with 66 on Dec. 29. COVID hospitalizations fell by 23 to 278 in Thursday’s report, well below the record of 1,371 on Jan. 11.

Arkansas has received more than 1.361 million vaccines and distributed more than 789,000. The state has received 1,209,300 vaccines since federal distribution began Dec. 14, including 46,970 in the previous 24 hours. Vaccines administered in the previous 24 hours rose by 15,395 to 724,976, or 60% of vaccines received.

The federal program in which CVS and Walgreens is managing vaccinations in nursing homes and other long term care facilities has received 152,150 vaccines since Dec. 28, including 16,600 in the previous 24 hours. Vaccines administered in the past 24 hours rose by 2,523 to 64,818, or 42.6% of vaccines received.

New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• Total confirmed and probable cases: 326,040, up 340
• Total confirmed and probable active cases: 3,144, down 83
• Total confirmed and probable deaths: 5,410, up 28
• There were 7,316 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 1,040 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours.

278, down 23

67, down 5

The top five counties with new known cases reported Thursday were: Benton (39), Washington (38), Pulaski (33), Faulkner (22), and Craighead (17). The counties accounted for 43.8% of the 340 new confirmed and probable cases.

As of Thursday at 4:30 p.m., there were 29,200,0162 U.S. cases and 530,423 deaths. Globally, there were 118,357,116 cases and 2,625,396 deaths.