Arkansas has first 2 virus deaths; session to start Thursday

Healthcare professionals wear personal protective equipment as they prepare to test patients for flu, strep throat, and coronavirus from their parked cars on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at the St. Bernards Urgent Care Clinic on Red Wolf Boulevard in Jonesboro, Ark. (Quentin Winstine/The Jonesboro Sun via AP)


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas is reporting its first coronavirus deaths. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday that two people have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Faulkner County’s deputy coroner says a 91-year-old man died at a hospital in Conway. State Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith says the other death was a central Arkansas patient in their 50s. The number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas rose Tuesday from 201 to at least 232. Hutchinson says he is planning to call a special session beginning Thursday to address a $353 million shortfall the state faces because of the effects of the virus pandemic.