AR positive cases lower than projections by Arkansas Department of Health

Joplin Area Coronavirus

Courtesy of KNWA

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.​

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