State cases reach 4,164: Announcement coming Monday on timeline for reopening bars

Thursday, May 14, 2020

By Scott Loftis

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that the state’s total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had increased by 121 from the previous day, to 4,164.

Ninety-five Arkansans have died from the virus.

Hutchinson said 21 of the new cases announced Tuesday were in correctional facilities, meaning 100 new cases represented “community spread.” Twenty-seven of those 100 cases were reported in St. Francis County, Hutchinson said — where a federal prison is located at Forrest City.

Hutchinson said state health officials are focused on preventing occasional daily increases from turning into an upward trend in the number of new cases.

“We continue in Arkansas to follow the CDC guidelines, to take them seriously,” Hutchinson said. “We’re going to have spikes. Let’s not let those spikes become outbreaks.”

Arkansas’ restaurants were allowed to reopen dine-in service Monday, with several state-mandated restrictions. Hutchinson said Tuesday that he will announce a decision Monday, May 18, on when bars can begin to reopen. An announcement about summer camps and team sports will be made Wednesday, May 20, Hutchinson said.

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