Arkansas records 100th COVID-19 death

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

By Scott Loftis

Arkansas’ death toll from COVID-19 has reached triple digits.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported the state’s 100th COVID-19 death during a news conference Monday afternoon in Forrest City.

Hutchinson said 235 Arkansas residents tested positive for COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday afternoon, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 4,813.

That represents a one-week increase of 770 cases (19 percent) from the 4,043 cases reported on Monday, May 12, when the state had 94 COVID-19 deaths.

Hutchinson has said he’d like to see 60,000 Arkansas residents tested for the virus in May. On Monday, he reported that 2,329 tests had been performed in the previous 24 hours.

Also Monday, Hutchinson announced that bars inside and associated with restaurants may reopen with restrictions on Tuesday, May 19. Free-standing bars may open one week later, on Tuesday, May 26.

“There’s still restrictions that do apply,” Hutchinson said.

Later, state health secretary Dr. Nate Smith said the Department of Health will issue guidelines for bars that he expect will be similar to those for restaurants, which were allowed to resume restricted dine-in service on May 11.

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