By Ray King

After recording 273 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the state saw a more than double increase Wednesday as 615 new cases were reported. That brought the cumulative total to 62,112 since March 11 when the first case was reported in Arkansas.

Hospitalizations increased by 12 to 435 while an additional 27 deaths were reported, bringing the state total to 841. State Health Officer Dr. Jose Romero said 13 of those deaths were late reports and five more came from nursing homes but were not clustered or at the same location.

Seven counties reported 20 or more new cases with Washington County leading the list with 67, followed by Pulaski County with 62 and Benton County with 60. Craighead County reported 49 new cases, Garland County reported 27, Saline County had 21 and Mississippi County had 20.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said 4,773 tests were conducted in the past 24 and the positivity rate is around 8 percent overall.