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Coronavirus in Arkansas: Governor announces 1,171 cases in Arkansas, 23 deaths total

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday afternoon that there were 1,171 cases of the coronavirus in Arkansas as of Friday afternoon.

There were also two new deaths announced Friday. That brings the state’s total number of deaths due to the coronavirus to 23.

The governor also announced the first state employee had died due to complications from the coronavirus. According to the governor, Richard Richardson was a former Razorback football player and a substance abuse counselor with the Department of Community Corrections.

Governor Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, said they spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Both state officials say Dr. Fauci approved of the steps state officials have taken in response to the coronavirus and the direction the state was having.

State officials discussed the importance of social distancing, even on Easter Sunday.

Dr. Rex Horne also spoke, reminding Arkansans, “As we do our part even in social distancing through Easter, there’s another day coming. We have good days ahead.”

Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said Friday there were 132,000 unemployment claims, and anyone who filed in the weeks ending March 21 or March 28 should have received their unemployment checks.

Dr. Smith said a cease and desist letter was issued to an abortion clinic. According to Dr. Smith, the Department of Health had conducted an investigation because of reports of the clinic continuing to do elected procedures that were not to protect the mother. According to Dr. Smith, there were reports of people coming from out of state. According to Smith, ADH officials talked with the owners, whom he said they had no intention of stopping operations.

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