By Ray King

Reported cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas on Thursday deceased by nearly 200 when compared to Wednesday, according to State Health Officer Dr. Jose Romero.

Romero filled in for Governor Asa Hutchinson at the daily press briefing on the pandemic and said there were 735 new cases, 44 of them in correctional facilities and the remaining 691 in community settings. On Wednesday, 912 cases were reported.

The Governor was out of state on business.

The new cases bring the cumulative total of cases of COVID-19 since early March to 47,028. Of that total, 39,555 people are listed as having recovered.

Romero said Pulaski County had the highest number of new cases of any county in the state with 73, followed by Craighead County with 69, Sebastian County with 62, Poinsett County with 27 and Benton and Garland Counties with 24 each. Crittenden and Mississippi Counties reported 23 each, Green County had 22 and Saline Count had 1. No other county in the state reported more than 20 cases.

There are currently 6,958 active cases with 71 of them in nursing homes, 548 in correctional facilities and the remaining 6,449 in community settings.

The number of patients hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 dropped by two to 514 and there were seven deaths, bringing the state total to 515.

Romero said 4,514 tests for COVID-19 were administered in the past 24 hours with a positivity rate of 8.6 percent. Through the first five days of this month, 27,998 tests have been conducted.