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Video: Officials Report No New Cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas

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Arkansas health officials said Tuesday that there had been no new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the state since yesterday, and the total number of known cases remains at 22.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson held another media briefing on the state’s response to the outbreak Tuesday morning at Arkansas State University-Mid-South in West Memphis (see video below).

Also at the briefing were Dr. Nathaniel Smith, secretary of the state Department of Health; Mike President, secretary of the state Department of Commerce, and U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.

Despite reporting no new cases since Monday, officials cautioned that more will emerge as the state ramps up testing ability. Arkansas expects to have more testing capacity by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Hutchinson ordered the state’s casinos to close for two weeks. That includes Southland Casino Racing, a West Memphis dog track, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff. Oaklawn Racing Casino resort announced Sunday that it would close.

Hutchinson said he understands the move will cause hardship on hundreds of casino workers, and he directed the Commerce Department to take steps to make unemployment benefits available to affected workers more quickly. 

Those steps include waiving the delay to receive benefits and moving more of the application process online.

Hutchinson also said he was proud of how Arkansans have been helping each other during the crisis.

“The love is still there, the compassion is still there,” he said.


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