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Arkansas Reports Another Highest Single-Day Rise in COVID-19 Community Cases

At Friday's coronavirus response briefing, Governor Asa Hutchinson reported an additional 678 new cases of COVID-19, including 669 community cases, making for the highest single-day rise in community cases yet. Washington County reported 122 new cases, Benton County had 68 and Sebastian County had 33. The governor discussed hospital capacities in the state's five public health regions, but did not provide a breakdown by county. According to Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Nate Smith, so far, contact tracing done in Arkansas doesn't indicate a large number of infections can be connected to restaurants, barber shops or bars, all of which are businesses that have reopened with some restrictions in the past two months. But, Smith said they're concerned about the coronavirus clusters at certain places of worship and once again urged those establishments to follow guidelines like social distancing and face masks. As both the governors of Texas and Florida reinstate some measures they had rolled back, Hutchinson said the state is watching the sources of transmission in Arkansas and would, if necessary, consider further action. To watch the full briefing, click here.

Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
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