Logan County has experienced a surge of positive coronavirus COVID-19 cases since the beginning of Phase 1.

As of Monday, Logan County had 19 positive cases of COVID-19, with seven active cases, twelve recovered cases and 691 negative cases. The number of new cases jumped from 12 to 19 since last Monday.

Dr. Joel Tumlison from the Arkansas Department of Health said that the increase of available testing most likely caused the rise in cases.

“There are still relatively few cases in Logan County, only 19 since March. With increased testing availability, we will catch at least a few more asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases. And in an area where there have been few cases to date, that can significantly affect the total numbers.”

Under the directive of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas entered the second phase of reopening on Monday, June 15. Hutchinson commented that “Americans are on the move,” and therefore, it made sense to continue to lift restrictions.

Phase 2 allows for increasing the capacity of gyms, restaurants, salons, and other businesses from one-third to two-thirds.

Some local eating establishments in Paris, including The Grapevine, have decided to open for dining-in during Phase 2. Restrictions include wearing a mask when you enter and anytime you are not sitting at your table.

The governor, along with Arkansas Health Secretary Nate Smith, believes that reopening is not the cause of new cases and the state is ready to increase capacity and reduce restrictions.

Hutchinson called the reopening of the state a “gradual process,” saying that, “we learn by experience.”

Several questions were raised about the gating criteria for Phase 2 since Arkansas is seeing a second peak in cases. In response, Hutchinson said the expected flow of the virus was to have a single peak without a resurgence, but the actual flow has been “more like the rolling Ozark hills versus the Colorado Rockies.”

The second spike in Arkansas has leveled out according to the seven-day rolling average of new cases per day. Hutchinson hopes this is an indication of the height of the second peak.

Local officials and emergency management are reminding the community to continue social distancing and to wear a mask to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 within Logan County.

Arkansas has administered over 30,000 tests since the beginning of the month, which means the state is more than 25% of the way to the goal of 120,000 for the month.

There have been no reported deaths in Logan County.

Some information obtained in this article was from a previous Times Record story.