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.
As health officials nationwide worry that infections could surge as cities and states reopen, Hutchinson warned against activities during the holiday weekend that could increase his state’s case count.
“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.”
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.
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.
Researchers with the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have warned that major cities such as Dallas and Houston — along with the state of Alabama and several cities in Florida — are in danger of experiencing a second wave of cases.
“As communities reopen, we’re starting to detect evidence of resurgence in cases in places that have overreached a bit,” David Rubin, director of PolicyLab, told The Post earlier this month.