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March 20, 2020 update, Schools to remain closed through April 16

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online

Confirmed cases for COVID-19 have increase by a third in the last 24 hours with the state total rising to 96 today. While restrictions have increased Governor Hutchinson and other state officials shared information regarding much needed assistance during this time.

The current number of confirmed cases in Arkansas has increased to 96 according to the most recent report by the Arkansas Department of Health. There are still no confirmed cases in Montgomery County, but surrounding counties have reported confirmed cases.

Polk County is the most recent adjacent county to report a confirmed case. They Join Garland County and Clark County as counties with confirmed cases adjoining Montgomery County.

Other nearby counties include: Sevier, Saline, Grant, and Pope. Other Arkansas counties with confirmed cases include: Benton, Washington, Boone, Searcy, Van Buren, Faulkner, Independence, Greene, Craighead, Poinsett, Cleburne, Pulaski, Jefferson,Cleveland, Bradley, Lincoln, Desha and Crittendon.

Governor Hutchinson revealed today during a press conference that there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in three nursing homes in the state.

All restaurants and bars are limited to take out, delivery and curbside service.

The Director of the Department of Education announced that all Arkansas Public Schools will remain closed through April 16. He shared today that all ACT Aspire testing will be suspended this year. Arkansas PBS will also shift their morning programming to provide educational material for some age groups.

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he had been told that Arkansas would be declared a Small Business Emergency state. This will qualify Arkansas small business for emergency assistance from the Small Business Administration soon.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that her office has been able to make $3 million available to assist small businesses as well.

It was announced today that the Federal Income Tax Filing deadline will be extended until July 15.

While no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Montgomery County residents are asked to stay home as much as possible. Social distancing has become a part of everyone’s vocabulary recently for good reason.

There is currently nowhere in Montgomery County to be tested. The local ADH office stated that persons who think they need to be tested should call the Arkansas Department of Health call center at 1 (800) 803-7847. You will be screened and evaluated. If it is deemed that you need to be tested you be instructed on what to do to be tested.

For more information please visit the Arkansas Department of Health at healthy.arkansas.gov, or the Center for Disease Control at cdc.gov.

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