By Ray King

Arkansas recorded its highest one-day total in community cases of COVID-19 on Monday, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

At his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, the Governor said there were 374 community cases of the virus, which brought the state’s total to 7,818. Of those, 2,115 are active cases. Over the past 24-hours, an additional 11 people were hospitalized in the state, bringing the total to 132 and there were three more deaths reported. So far this year, there have been 136 people to die as a result of COVID-19.

State Health Officer Dr. Nate Smith reported that Benton County had the highest number of reported cases with 65, followed by Pulaski County which had 63. Of those, he said 46 percent were patients or staff members of a nursing home in Jacksonville. Washington County had 57 cases reported followed by Sevier Count with 33, Craighead County with 21 , Yell County with 14 and Crittenden County with 10. No other county in the state had more than 10.

The Governor said the new cases were partly the result of additional testing which has resulted in a spike in cases over the last few days. He said on Monday, 3,807 people were tested with a positivity rate of 4.4 percent.

In early May, Hutchinson set a goal of testing 60,000 people In the state and for June has doubled that goal to 120,000 which will include every resident and staff member of every nursing home in the state. Smith said that number is around 50,000.