By Ray King

Reported cases of COVID-19 dropped below the 500 mark for the first time in several weeks in the past 2 hours and Governor Asa Hutchinson said sufficient testing was done to indicate the sped of the virus is either flat or going down.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing, this time from Blytheville in Mississippi County, Hutchinson said there were 410 new cases, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 53,487. Of those, 5,898 are active cases and 46,970 people have recovered.

There are currently 492 people hospitalized, that’s 16 more than on Monday and there have been 16 additional deaths, raising the state’s total to 619.

Only three counties reported more than 20 new cases with Sebastian County leading the list with 44, followed by Pulaski County with 40 and Washington County with 29.

More than 4,000 tests were done in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha of the State Health Department said of the 410 new cases, 85 were in correctional facilities and the remaining 325 in community settings, indicating there is “a lot of transmission (of the virus).”