Arkansas virus cases up to 22; two in Cleburne County

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ largest city is planning to impose more restrictions, including a curfew, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.

Mayor Frank Scott said Monday that a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be in effect in Little Rock beginning early Wednesday.

“This decision we did not take lightly at all,” Scott said.

The mayor made the announcement shortly after the state Department of Health announced that the number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas had risen by six to 22.

Two of the new infections were found in people from who live in Cleburne County but had traveled out of state to a conference, health officials said. The other four contracted it in a healthcare setting. Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith said two of the cases were results that came back from a private lab.

For most people, the 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 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.

Unlike several other states, Hutchinson stopped short of calling for restaurants and bars to close. But the governor said Monday that he discouraged them from gathering more than 50 people in one place.

Hutchinson on Sunday told the state’s public schools to close for the next two weeks

Oaklawn, a horse track in Hot Springs, announced Sunday it would close its casino through March 30 because of concerns about the virus. The track said it will continue to hold races but will not allow spectators on site.

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