- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas on Tuesday reported 12 more deaths and 12 more people in the hospital from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

The Department of Health reported 486 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total since the virus outbreak began in March to 74,772. The state also reported 131 new probable cases.

The state has had 1,209 deaths from confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases. The number of people in the hospital has risen to 459.

The actual number of cases in Arkansas is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Laying out a strategy for the fall and winter, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he hoped to increase flu shot participation and to conduct 1 million virus tests by Oct. 20. About 897,000 tests have already been conducted in the state.

Hutchinson said the state is also working on strengthening compliance with its virus safety rules, a recommendation from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He said he was concerned about the panel’s finding that Arkansas had the 4th highest growth rate in new cases and said he hoped to slow that down.

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