LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The number of deaths in Arkansas due to COVID-19 has surpassed 2,000 and the illness is now the third leading cause of death in the state, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday.
Cancer and heart attacks are the first and second causes of death, Hutchinson said, with 219.8 and 94.4 deaths per 100,000 population. The COVID death rate is 65.8.
“It is a deadly virus that takes people’s lives. We want to make sure everybody understands the seriousness of it,” Hutchinson said.
There were 18 more deaths reported to bring the total to 2,003 since the pandemic began and 858 newly reported confirmed and probable cases, for a total of more than 114,000, according to Hutchinson.
The actual number of cases in Arkansas is likely higher because many people have not been tested and people can carry the virus but not feel sick.
Dr. Jose Romero, the state’s health secretary, said families should limit gatherings during the coming holidays to no more than 10 people at a time.
“Especially Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s — we need to really think seriously this year whether it is advisable to bring 20, 30 members into a home,” Romero said.