Arkansas sees uptick in virus tests, records 50th death
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas health officials said Monday the number of coronavirus tests conducted over the weekend surpassed its recent average as the state recorded its 50th death from the virus.
The increase in tests occurred during a “surge” campaign Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced last week. The campaign aimed to raise the number of tests conducted from 1,000 a day to 1,500.
Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith said nearly 1,600 tests were conducted on Saturday and 1,506 on Sunday. Smith said 1,079 tests were conducted on Friday, the first day of the surge.
The state reported a total of at least 3,017 cases, an increase over the 2,941 reported Sunday. The number of deaths rose from 49 to 50. The number of infections is likely higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
Hutchinson has said he hopes to lift some restrictions on May 4 and plans to announce a decision regarding restaurants on Wednesday.