By Ray King

After seeing active COVID-19 cases reach and exceed the 700 mark in the past few days, the total for the past 24 hours was less than 350, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

In his daily COVID-19 update Thursday, which took place at Fort Smith, Hutchinson said 322 new cases were reported, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 13,928. Of those, 4,344 are considered active.

There are currently 226 people hospitalized and 11 additional deaths were reported, raising the state total to 208. Of the 11 deaths, 10 were in the 65 and over age range.

Hutchinson said Washington County had the most new cases of any county in the state with 46, followed by Benton County with 33 and Pulaski County with 22. No other county in the state had more than 20.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said 142 of the active cases are in nursing homes, 644 are in correctional facilities and the remaining 3,558 are community based,

Hutchinson said he was extending the public health emergency declaration that was previously issued for another 45 days but was cancelling his order establishing a command structure and activating some members of the Arkansas National Guard to deal with civil unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.