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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a COVID-19 update on Thursday, June 25, at the state Capitol in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ John Sykes Jr.)

The Arkansas Department of Health reported two new COVID-19 cases in Union County Saturday, bringing the county’s cumulative total of cases to 245.

Of those, 191 were considered recovered Saturday, up two from Friday. Active cases stayed steady at 41, since the new cases were balanced by the two new recoveries. Active cases Saturday represented 16.73% of the county’s cumulative total of cases.

No new deaths were reported Saturday; in all, 13 Union County residents have died as a result of COVID-19.

The ADH reported 36 new test results returned from Union County Saturday. In all, 3,189 COVID-19 test results have returned for Union County, with 2,944 negatives, indicating a local overall positivity rate of 7.68%. According to the ADH, 80.3 tests have been performed for every 1,000 Union County residents.

Arkansas’ cumulative case total increased by 570 by Saturday afternoon to reach 19,310. Of those, 13,270 were considered recovered Saturday, and 5,781 cases — 29.93% — were still active.

Ten Arkansans died as a result of the virus between Friday and Saturday, bringing the state’s death toll to 259, indicating a state mortality rate of 1.34%.

Union County ranked 28th out of the state’s 75 counties in numbers of active cases on Saturday. In numbers of deaths attributable to the virus, Union County was the fifth-highest county in the state, with only Washington, Jefferson, Pulaski and Benton counties, where Fayetteville, Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Bentonville are located, respectively, having higher death tolls related to COVID-19, according to ADH data.

The ADH reported 291,222 total COVID-19 test results returned by Saturday afternoon, with 271,912 negatives, indicating a statewide positivity rate of 6.63%.

On an appearance on “Meet the Press” Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he believed a “consistent national message” about wearing masks would help encourage state residents to wear masks in public spaces where they are around non-household members and are not able to social distance with at least six feet between themselves and others, which studies have shown can markedly decrease the chances of COVID-19 transmission between persons.

“A consistent national message supporting the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing is very important to making sure everybody understands the importance of it,” Hutchinson said on the show. “Nothing beats leadership. Certainly it’s important to convey the importance of that.”

Johns Hopkins University reported 2,501,244 COVID-19 cases in the United States at 6 p.m. Saturday; of those, 679,308 were considered recovered, leaving 1,696,501 cases — 67.82% — active nationwide. There had been 125,435 deaths attributable to COVID-19 in the U.S. by Saturday evening, indicating a national mortality rate of 5.01%.

Johns Hopkins reported 9,891,727 COVID-19 cases worldwide Saturday evening; of those, 5,004,567 were considered recovered, leaving 4,391,085 cases — 44.39% — active around the world. There had been 496,075 deaths attributable to the virus by Saturday evening, indicating a global mortality rate of 5.01%.

Cumulative cases in the U.S. represented 25.28% of all COVID-19 cases worldwide Saturday, while active cases in the U.S. made up 38.63% of all worldwide cases. Arkansas’ cumulative cases represent .77% of all U.S. cases, and Arkansan deaths represent .20% of U.S. deaths attributable to the virus.

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