Lawrence County has seen 70 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths during the past week, according to information reported by the Arkansas Department of Health.

The ADH website on Tuesday reported 27 deaths among Lawrence County residents, up from 23 deaths last Monday.

In addition, the cumulative case count increased from 955 last week to 1,025 as of Tuesday.

An increase of 65 recoveries from 831 last week to 896 on Tuesday offset the 70 new cases, leaving the county at 102 active cases, up just one from last week’s total of 101.

Governor forms task force

Statewide, cases have been on the rise and increases in hospitalizations have been a cause for concern.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has created a COVID-19 Winter Task Force, including 19 physicians, state officials and health care executives to advise him as the state combats the likely challenges of the pandemic this winter.

“We continue to see a record number of COVID-19 cases, and as winter approaches we must take this head-on with a strategy that is medically sound and data-driven,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a press conference on Friday. “This will ensure that we are combating COVID-19 with the best resources to limit the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus while we wait for a vaccine.”

Gov. Hutchinson will chair the task force, and Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Greg Bledsoe will serve as vice chair. Chris Barber, president and CEO of St. Bernards Healthcare, is among those appointed to serve.

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