LITTLE ROCK – In an effort increase testing for COVID-19, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a two-day Arkansas Surge Campaign today with a simple message: “If you think you have symptoms, don’t wait – get tested.
”The goal of the two-day Arkansas Surge is to increase testing from 1,000 to 1,500 per day over the next two days. The two-day campaign could provide an early diagnosis and quicker treatment for people who might have been reluctant to test early in the pandemic. The increased number of people who go for testing during the Friday and Saturday Surge will also help give the state a more complete understanding of the presence of COVID-19 in Arkansas.
The Governor presented four recommendations from his Testing Advisory Group to expand and increase testing in the state.
- Expand testing for all patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and those with history of potential exposure.
- Expand testing for contact investigations
- Increase testing in high-risk settings such as long-term-care facilities.
- Develop a strategy for statewide serosurveillance.
“We are hoping to increase the number of people who are tested by expanding the criteria for testing,” the Governor said. “Until now, we have been testing only people who are symptomatic. We’re expanding testing to include all people who have been exposed to COVID-19, even if they don’t show symptoms. This will help us to identify infections and clusters around the state more quickly.“
By adding the history of potential exposure, we broaden the category of those who can qualify for testing. This will provide us the best statewide surveillance to alert us to any community with a new outbreak or new cluster.”
If you are not a member of the media and have questions or concerns about COVID-19, you can contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847 or visit ar.gov/covid.