By Ray King

Arkansas recorded its highest one-day total of new COVID-19 cases since the first case was reported in March, Governor Asa Hutchinson said during his daily press briefing Thursday.

Hutchinson said that there were 878 cases reported, bringing the total for the state to 22,075. Of those, 6,098 are active cases.

There are currently 272 people hospitalized, that’s three less than on Wednesday and there have been two additional deaths, raising the total to 272.

Hot Spring County had the most reported cases of any county in the state with 151 and Hutchinson said many of those cases came from the Quachita River Correctional facility. Washington County had 117, followed by Pulaski County with 98, Benton County with 75, Sebastian County with 55 and Faulkner County with 35.

State Health Director Dr. Ken Smith said half the Pulaski County cases originated in Little Rock, another quarter in North Little Rock and the rest in other parts of the county.

Smith said the number of cases is Washington County continues to be a concern for health officials, particularly since the amount of testing for COVID-19 in the county is less than the amount that has been done in other counties in the region and state-wide.

Hutchinson said he believes there should be a national approach to ensuring that sufficient testing supplies are available nationwide, particularly since states like Arizona, California, Florida and others have recorded large increases in their daily number of new cases.

He said that could be done by implementing the National Defense Production Act to produce more supplies.