Ashley County’s COVID-19 case count rose over the last week, and the virus claimed another life in the county.

The county had 20 active cases of the disease and had recorded 11 deaths as of Oct. 7. By Oct. 13, the Arkansas Department of Health’s records indicated that the case count had increased to 35 and a 12th death had been recorded. Since the pandemic began, Ashley County has confirmed 484 cases of COVID-19, while as of Tuesday evening the State of Arkansas as a whole has recorded 94,167 cases and 1,611 related deaths.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that he would be extending the declared state of emergency connected to the pandemic for another 60 days.

That announcement Tuesday followed comments Monday about the rate of hospitalization the state has seen.

“Our hospitalizations continue to be at a high level,” Hutchinson said. “This puts stress on our healthcare workers. While we have sufficient bed capacity in our hospitals, this does strain the system. This is why we need to work together to reduce our cases and reduce our hospitalizations.”

In the effort to reduce hospitalizations, the governor has urged Arkansans to follow the social distancing guidance and mandates that have been put in place.

“Our new cases continue to be too high,” he said Friday. “Let’s make sure to wear a mask and keep our distance. We are constantly reminded of how serious this virus is and how easily it can spread.”

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