Ark. sees increases in hospitalizations and unemployment identity theft fraud cases related to COVID-19

FULL BRIEFING 7/7: Gov. Hutchinson and state officials COVID-19 update for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, update the public on the state’s response to the coronavirus, including the latest cases of COVID-19 and deaths.

Arkansas saw the largest jump in hospitalizations for a single day, with 32 people being hospitalized bringing the statewide total to 369.

As of Tuesday, July 7, there are 5,486 active cases in the state, with 117 in nursing homes, 273 in correction facilities, and 5,096 in the community.

Dr. Smith also pointed out that 18,725 people have recovered, including 800+ people who recovered today.

Deaths in the state also increased with 9 new deaths being reported, with the total death count tops 300.

The counties with the largest increase are:

  • Pulaski County - 57
  • Benton County - 26
  • Washington County - 14

Dr. Nate Smith said, “I’m concerned what’s going on in Pulaski county...this is where we’re seeing the steepest increase in cases.”

Governor Hutchinson also said longterm unemployment claims are now under 100k in Arkansas. First-time unemployment claims are flat, close to 10k, so Hutchinson said, “I’m optimistic we’re going to be able to put more people back to work.”

The State of Arkansas has paid $330 million in unemployment assistance to 43k self-employed Arkansans.

Arkansas is also seeing an increase in Unemployment Identity fraud, with 14,000 accounts flagged within the pandemic unemployment cases, and another 6,000 in regular unemployment fraud.

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