White House Report: Virus Spread is ‘Unyielding’ in Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ positivity rate on coronavirus tests and number of new cases put the state in the “red zone” and more limitations should be placed on bars and indoor dining until those rates drop, a new White House report said.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force, in a report released Tuesday, said more than half of all Arkansas counties are experiencing high levels of community transmission of the virus, which has killed 2,752 people in the state since the start of the pandemic.

“Pandemic spread is unyielding in Arkansas,” the report said. “Virus levels continue to increase and are extremely high; activities that were safe in the summer are not safe now.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has resisted calls for more restrictions and said Tuesday he’s still considering whether to impose stricter rules on large indoor gatherings. Under the state’s current coronavirus restrictions, indoor events with more than 100 people expected must have a plan approved beforehand by the state. 

Arkansas’ death rate from the virus is about 91 deaths per 100,000 people, making it the 16th highest per capita among states, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

One in every 201 people in Arkansas tested positive for the virus in the past week.

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