By Ray King

An outbreak of COVID-19 at a correctional facility in Chicot County contributed to a total of nearly 800 new cases statewide in the past 24 hours and pushed the cumulative state-wide total to nearly 41,000.

At his daily COVID-19 press conference Wednesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson said 145 of the 152 new cases reported in Chicot County were in a correctional facility. The county reported the highest number of new cases of any county in the state with 152, followed by Pulaski County which reported 82 new cases.

Sebastian County reported 43 new cases, followed by Benton County with 33, Little River County with 30, Craighead Count with 24, and Crittenden and Washington 22 each.

There are now 40,968 cumulative cases of COVID-19 with 33,938 people listed as recovered from the virus.

An additional seven people have been hospitalized, bringing the state total to 508, and six additional deaths were reported, bringing the total to 438.

The Governor said 4,519 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, a total he said was “not as high as he wished it were.” He has said that part of the problem is that commercial labs who are frequently backed up and it can take a number of days to produce results. Later in the press conference, Hutchinson said the White House has assured him that the situation involving the commercial labs will improve in August.