By Ray King

The number of people hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 has now passed the 400 mark, Governor Asa Hutchinson said Friday.

During his daily press conference, Hutchinson said eight additional people were hospitalized over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 402. There were 751 additional cases of COVID-19 reported during the same period, increasing the total of cumulative cases statewide to 26,803. Of those, 5,844 are active cases.

State Health Officer Dr. Nate Smith said of the active cases, 123 are in nursing homes, 584 in correctional facilities and the remaining 5,140 in community settings.

The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is 20,612, Smith said.

Hot Spring County recorded the highest total of new cases of any county in the state with 145 and Smith said most if not all of them came from the Ouachita River Correctional Facility. He said after previous cases at that facility, all the inmates and staff were tested and many tested negative. After some of those started showing symptoms, they were tested again and Smith said at the time of the first test, there may not have been enough of the virus to produce a positive result.

Pulaski County had the second highest number of cases with 100, followed by Benton County with 54, Washington County with 51 and Sebastian County with 42. Faulkner and Pope Counties each had 25 and Jefferson County 23.

The Governor conducted his press briefing at the University of Arkansas Cussatot in DeQueen in Sevier County, which has had multiple cases associated with two meat packing facilities in the county.