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Arkansas reports 678 new COVID-19 cases, 7 more deaths

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Friday reported its largest single-day increase yet in cases of the coronavirus among those who are not in prison, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

The state is reporting 669 new cases among people in the community and nine among prison inmates, bringing the total for Friday to 678. The state has reported 18,740 cases since the pandemic began in March. The true number of cases though is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Hutchinson said seven more deaths have been reported from COVID-19, the illness the new coronavirus causes, have died, bringing Arkansas outbreak’s death toll to 249.

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Hutchinson has said he’s not ready to further ease restrictions on businesses as coronavirus cases are surging. Arkansas’ virus numbers have dramatically risen since last month, when businesses began reopening. Earlier this month, he allowed restaurants and other businesses to serve more customers.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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