LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Wednesday reported 703 new confirmed coronavirus cases and seven more people have died from the illness caused by the virus.

The Department of Health reported at least 51,114 people in the state have tested positive for the virus. The department said 6,725 of those cases are active, meaning they don't include people who have recovered or died.

The true number of cases in Arkansas is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, increased to 573 Wednesday. The number of people hospitalized with the disease decreased by 21 to 486.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday signed a letter of intent with the Rockefeller Foundation to form a consortium with other states that he said will strengthen their purchasing power for commercial COVID-19 tests.

Other states signing the letter include Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia and Utah.

"We plan to leverage all available resources, collective expertise and proven cooperative contracting capabilities to enable a national cooperative agreement for national testing and tracing actions, which all interested states and their political subdivisions may participate in," the letter said.

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