A cluster of people who attended a high school pool party tested positive for the novel coronavirus as Arkansas faces a “second peak” of cases, the state’s governor said Saturday.
“A high school swim party that I’m sure everybody thought was harmless,” Asa Hutchinson (R) said during a briefing. “They’re young, they’re swimming, they’re just having activity, and positive cases resulted from that.”
Hutchinson didn’t specify the number of cases linked to the party, and the state’s health department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.
He also didn’t say how residents in his state should ensure they don’t spread the virus, but in a morning interview on Fox News Sunday, Hutchinson didn’t stress staying home.
“We have to manage the risk,” he said.” “We take the virus very seriously, it’s a risk, it causes death, but you can’t cloister yourself at home, that is just contrary to the American spirit.”
Hutchinson never issued a statewide stay-home directive, and at a White House meeting with President Trump on Wednesday, the governor emphasized Arkansas is “at work” and businesses are open.
But on Saturday, he warned people celebrating the holiday weekend to “be safe.”
“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,” he continued, “but let’s be safe and let’s be disciplined at the same time.”
Earlier in the week, the state had logged its highest single-day count of new cases: 455. Then, on Saturday, Arkansas added 163 confirmed cases and two deaths. To date, 115 people in the state have died of covid-19, the illness caused by the virus.
“It’s clear and evident to me that we had one peak and then we had a deep dip and then we’re having a second peak right now,” Hutchinson said Saturday.