By Ray King

The number of reported cases of the Corona virus continues to increase in Arkansas but so does the number of people who have recovered from the virus.

During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily press conference on COVID-19, State Health Officer Dr. Nate Smith said there are currently 1,094 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 71 from the 1,023 Wednesday. Of those 1,094. 841 of them are active. Of the active cases, 158 are health care workers. That’s three more than on Wednesday/

Smith also said the death toll is now 21, up three from Wednesday. Two of those who died were in their 60’s and the third was in their 70’s.

Because of patient privacy concerns, no other information was released on the three deaths.

Smith said there have been 253 people who have recovered, an increase of 45 from Wednesday.

Also, there are 73 people who are currently hospitalized, a decease of three. Smith said 24 of the patients who had been hospitalized have been released and 21 new patients admitted.

Using graphs, Hutchinson said the rate of growth of COVID-19 in the state is less than that of surrounding states and attributed that to things the public is doing such as social distancing and wearing protective masks.

“Of course that could change if we don’t do the right things,” Hutchinson said.

The rate of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 is also lower in Arkansas than in other states and Hutchinson again said the state did not need people from other states where hot spots exist to come to Arkansas for recreational purposes.

“We don’t want them bringing it (COVID-19) into the state,” he said.

Last week, Hutchinson issued an executive order that forbids hotels, motels and lodges from renting rooms to out of state travelers except under certain conditions such as being a medical professional, member of the national guard or reserve, in cases of domestic violence or people traveling for business.