LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Arkansas has 704 cases of COVID-19, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson and the health department.
While new cases are coming in every day, the Health Department said we are still below the projected amount of cases.
“It’s still really early in the pandemic,” said Austin Porter from the Arkansas Department of Health at UAMS.
The natural state saw its first positive COVID-19 case in early March, since then more than 700 cases have popped up around the state.
“Our projected numbers should be close to 3500, but we are well below that point at this moment,” said Porter.
Austin Porter with the Arkansas Department of Health is talking about the below model.
The solid blue line is the projected number of cases. The red bars are the actual number of positive cases for each day.
So where do these projections come from?
”We look at other states and other countries and using their historical data because they are much further along in the pandemic then we are,” said Porter.
Porter said Arkansas is also showing a lower number of cases compared to neighboring states. For instance, as of Friday, Louisiana reported more than 10,000 cases with 370 deaths. Mississippi reported more than 1,300 cases with 29 deaths.
”Our death rate from COVID-19 is much lower than that of Louisiana,” said Porter.
Both Louisiana and Mississippi have statewide stay at home orders in place. Arkansas is still one of five states without an order in any counties.
Porter said people need to practice social distancing, if they don’t, there is no telling when the curve will flatten.
”It’s really hard to say when that peak is going to be for, so I mean there’s a lot of things that go into when that peak could occur such as whether or not we adhere to social distancing,” said Porter.
Porter said they are currently working on another model, which will give up a better idea of where we will be in two weeks. As of now, it’s unclear when Arkansas will peak.