Several people who attended a high school pool party in Arkansas have contracted the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) told reporters during his COVID-19 briefing May 23.
“There were positive cases coming out of a high school swim party. A high school swim party that I’m sure everybody thought was harmless,” the governor told reporters Saturday, adding, “They’re young, they’re swimming, they’re just having activity and positive cases resulted from that.”
Hutchinson said that the outbreak was “just an encouragement for us to be disciplined in our activities,” but did not provide further details on the swim party.
“During this Memorial (Day) weekend, we want to be out and we want to enjoy ourselves, we want to remember this holiday and those that have served our country and given their lives in service of our country. But let’s be safe and let’s be disciplined at the same time,” Hutchinson added.
“It’s clear and evident to me that we have one peak, and then we’ve had a deep dip, and then we’re having a second peak right now, and they’re really about 30 days apart,” he said.
Hutchinson said that increased testing across the state has allowed health officials to “find more cases,” adding that the increased testing mirrors the increase in cases in the state. The governor also said that Arkansas hospitals “are in good shape,” despite the increases in coronavirus infections, The Hill reports.
Health officials reported 163 new cases of the virus on Saturday and as of May 24, Arkansas has seen a total of 5,612 cases of the CCP virus while 113 deaths have been attributed to the disease, which originated in Wuhan, China last year.
However, the Arkansas governor never issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the state, and in April, cited the low hospitalization rate as one of the reasons for not enacting such an order.
“As you can see, we—all the projections show that we’re beating the projections, we’re flattening that curve. And our hospitalization rate is one of the lowest, particularly in our region,” he told PBS Newshour reporter Judy Woodruff April 8.
“We have a very targeted response to this. We have closed schools. We have closed bars and restaurants, tattoo parlors, barber shops, hair salons, and down the list, a very targeted approach to it, in addition, enforcing social distancing,” he said, adding that as long as Arkansas citizens,”do what they’re supposed to do, which is social distance, wear a mask when you’re out, this accomplishes the purpose, without doing something that really doesn’t make a difference, which is acting like you’re going to be doing something with a shelter-in-place, when, in fact, everybody can still go out.”