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Washington County reported the most new cases in the state on Wednesday afternoon as numbers at the UofA continue to rise.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced 62,112 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon, an increase of 615 in a day and 4,089 in a week. Active cases fell to 5,010 from 5,036 on Tuesday. Over the course of a week, active cases fell by 380.

“I think we’re still digging into where the challenge is,” Hutchinson said when asked about where the problem on the UA campus is.

Sororities and fraternities will need to take extra precautions in order to avoid the spread of the virus in social activities, Hutchinson said.

“Social activity is a big part of life on college campuses, so this is a curve for those students, but it’s a better curve than the curve of not having an academic year,” Hutchinson said.

As of Wednesday, 399 active cases have been reported on the UA campus, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Washington County reported 67 new cases Tuesday, bringing its total cumulative positive cases to 6,991 and its active cases to 247. Benton County reported 60 new cases, for a total of 5,453 cumulative cases and 275 active cases. Of active cases in the state, 10.4% are in Northwest Arkansas.

Since Aug. 26, cumulative cases increased by 332 in Washington County, and by 306 in Benton County. During that week, 8,788 new tests were reported in Washington County, with a 3.8% average positivity rate. In Benton County, 5,512 tests were reported, with an average positivity rate of 5.6%.

The World Health Organization recommends that localities see a positive rate of 5% or less for at least 14 days before reopening, according to the WHO. Arkansas is currently in the second of three phases of economic reopening.

As of Wednesday, there were 435 patients hospitalized, up by 12 in a day and 12 in a week.

Statewide, 90 patients were on ventilators Wednesday, up five in a day and down by 18 in seven days, according to the ADH.

In total, 56,261 cases were considered inactive, an increase of 614 from Tuesday and 4,360 from Aug. 26. Total deaths rose by 27 in a day and by 109 in a week, for a total of 8141 on Wednesday. Of the 27 deaths, 14 were from the last three weeks and the others were from May, June and July, Health Secretary Jose Romero said.

There were 186,950 tests administered in Arkansas during August as of Tuesday afternoon.

Abbi Ross is the Editor in Chief of the Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as senior staff reporter.

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