Gov. Asa Hutchinson to hold news briefing as Arkansas sees nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases


FILE – In this July 20, 2020 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson removes his mask before a briefing at the state capitol in Little Rock. Hutchinson has signed into law a measure that would allow doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections. Gov. Hutchinson on Friday, March 26, 2021, signed the legislation, despite objections that it would give medical providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others. (Staci Vandagriff/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson is set to hold a news briefing Thursday afternoon as Arkansas sees an increase in new COVID-19 cases.

According to a Wednesday report from the Arkansas Department of Health, there were 3,743 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the state’s total number of cases to 557,551 since the start of the pandemic.

The ADH also reported an additional 15 hospitalizations and 16 deaths due to the coronavirus.

In a tweet, Gov. Hutchinson said that the number of new cases is higher due to home testing and he encouraged Arkansans to receive their vaccinations to reach his goal of getting through January without overwhelming hospitals.

On Wednesday, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruled the state’s mask mandate ban, which prohibited schools and other government entities from requiring masks, as unconstitutional.

Gov. Hutchinson released a statement saying that he was pleased with the ruling and he is in favor of giving schools and local government the power to protect individuals as the state sees another COVID-19 surge.

This news briefing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be streamed in the video player at the top of this page.

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