Arkansas governor: Rising virus cases unrelated to reopening

FILE - In this March 23, 2020 file photo, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, right, speaks in Little Rock Ark. Gov. Hutchinson is resisting issuing a broad stay-at-home order to curb the coronavirus outbreak, even as the state's cases continue to increase. Health officials on Thursday, March 2, 2020, said the number of coronavirus cases in the state had risen to at least 643, with two additional deaths. (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP File)

By KEN MILLER, the Associated Press

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said a surge in coronavirus cases does not appear connected to the reopening of the state’s businesses. Hutchinson said Friday that tracing of people infected has not shown a significant connection between lifting restrictions on businesses and the recent increase that includes 239 new cases to bring the state’s total number of confirmed cases to at least 6,777. The state also reported nine more deaths due to the disease caused by the virus, bringing the death toll to 132. The true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.