Two in Cleburne County test positive for COVID-19; Gov. Hutchinson expects state number to rise as active testing begins

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Featured image: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (at podium) speaks at today’s briefing.

At a late-morning briefing in Fayetteville today, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said there are now 22 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state — including two new cases in Cleburne County. The two people from Cleburne County had recently traveled out of state, the governor said.

Hutchinson said as officials begin actively administrating COVID-19 testing in the state in the next week, we can expect to see an increase in the number of cases detected.

“The testing will be dramatically increasing in Arkansas during the next week,” Hutchinson said. “What we will see in the coming two weeks and even the next week is that you will see a significant increase in the number of tests, and the report of those tests that come back. And, yes, when that happens, while a majority of those will be negative, we will see an increase of the number of positive cases across the state of Arkansas.”

The governor stressed that citizens adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the spread. Those guidelines were updated in an afternoon White House briefing to include the recommendation for Americans to not gather in groups of more than 10 people. Yesterday, the recommendation was to limit group gatherings to no more than 50 people.

Hutchinson also discouraged unnecessary out-of-state travel to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

As he noted in a weekend briefing, the governor said “panic buying” is not necessary because America’s supply chains are working well. He also said government business and services will continue, although some may be done off-site.

In other COVID-19 news, Little Rock’s mayor today introduced a curfew as part of efforts to curb the new coronavirus as the number of infections in the state continues to rise. Mayor Frank Scott says the curfew will be in effect from midnight until 5 a.m., beginning early Wednesday.

Information from the Associated Press was utilized in this report.

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