Arkansas coronavirus cases rise to 6; some schools closed

Mar 12, 2020

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The number of novel coronavirus infection cases in Arkansas has risen to six, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday as his administration told public schools in four counties to close temporarily.

Public schools in Grant, Jefferson, Pulaski and Saline counties would close for the next two weeks, Hutchinson said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 62,000 have so far recovered.

State health officials said the five people newly identified with the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, were being isolated at their homes.

State Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith said four of the newly identified cases were connected to a Pine Bluff patient the state identified Wednesday as its first coronavirus case; the other had contracted it from someone out of state.