Arkansas Bars to Reopen Over Next Week After Virus Closures

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LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas is allowing bars to reopen over the next week with new coronavirus safety measures, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday, as the state’s three casinos resumed operation.

Hutchinson announced that bar areas within restaurants will be allowed to reopen Tuesday, while freestanding bars can reopen May 26. Health officials did not detail the new safety rules for bars, but said they would be similar to those in place for restaurants that were allowed to resume business last week.

Casinos at the Oaklawn horse park in Hot Springs, Southland dog track in West Memphis and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, reopened Monday after the state approved the facilities’ plans for enforcing new social distancing rules. Each casino is limited to one-third capacity.

The Health Department said Monday that at least 4,813 people have tested positive for the virus, an increase over the 4,759 reported Sunday. The true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, has risen to 100.

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