With substantial upticks with the number of new positive COVID19 cases in the state of Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson held a media conference at noon today addressing the issue. The purpose of today’s special meeting was to announce the creation of the Governor’s COVID19 winter task force due to the particular challenges for the state of Arkansas.

The major focal point of the task force is to look at the hospital capacities and see what the state can provide in relief. In just the past 72 hours a total of 6,083 new cases have surfaced in Arkansas; of which included a record number of 2,312 new cases within the past 24-hours. There have been 21 new hospitalizations totaling 826 being hospitalized.

Polk County currently has 120 active cases.

Data shared by Hutchinson indicated 60% of ventilators in the southwest region of Arkansas are utilized by COVD19 patients and 41.8% ICU beds in the same region are occupied by COVID19 patients.

The task force will immediately look at ways to better coordinate COVID19 caseloads as well as evaluate additional steps needed to enforce better management with mask mandates as an attempt to reduce the number of high cases.

“Wash your hands, wear your masks and watch your distance. It is the public and personal responsibility…Everyone must realize the importance in following the three “W’s,” shared Jose Romero.

“I am opposed to a shutdown and don’t want to see that happen,” shared Hutchinson toward the end of the conference.

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