Governor: Arkansas can move to ‘Phase 2’ of COVID-19 limitations

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was joined by members of his cabinet to update citizens on the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday. Click below to listen to the entire address:

Arkansas to further lift virus limits despite spike in cases

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday said Arkansas will further ease its coronavirus restrictions on businesses next week, despite dramatic increases in recent weeks in the state’s active cases and hospitalizations.

Hutchinson said the state on Monday will move into “Phase 2” of reopening, a move that will ease capacity limits that have been placed on restaurants, bars and other businesses. The state last month allowed businesses that had closed because of the virus to reopen, but with capacity limits and other rules.

The Department of Health said at least 10,368 people have tested positive for the virus, an increase of 288 cases from Tuesday. The number of active cases, meaning those that exclude people who have died or recovered, rose to 3,087.

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 the illness caused by the virus rose by four to 165, and the number hospitalized increased to 181.