By Ray King

Arkansas residents age 25 to 44 are responsible for 38 percent of the total number of cases of COVID-19 in the state, and those age 45 to 64 account for another 29 percent, according to State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha.

Appearing with Governor Asa Hutchinson, Dillaha said while those age 65 and over, a group described as having the highest risk of COVID-19 account for only 11.5 percent of the total number of cases, they make up 70 percent of the total number of deaths.

She said a majority of those deaths occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Persons ages 25 to 44 account for another 29 percent of all the deaths from COVID-19.

The Governor said there were 274 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 13,191. There are currently 214 people hospitalized. That’s eight more than on Monday and there have been 188 deaths.

He also talked about testing, saying that so far this month, health department officials have tested more than 113,000 residents and staff members at nursing homes and those tests have resulted in a 0.9 percent positivity rate. Tests have been conducted at 150 facilities and there are 250 facilities remaining. The Governor set a goal of testing all residents and staff at nursing homes in the state by the end of June and said Tuesday they are on track to complete that testing.

Statewide, since March 11, more than 208,000 people have been tested. Hutchinson said that accounts for six percent of the state’s population.

Hutchinson and Dillaha made their comments from Hot Springs Tuesday.