Asa Hutchinson to issue directive banning social gatherings of more than 10 people

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday that he’d authorized emergency temporary medical licenses for medical residents who have completed one-year internships.

Hutchinson said in a news conference that expediting the licensing process has added 100 new physicians to the fight against COVID-19 in the state. As of early Wednesday afternoon, 280 people had tested positive for the virus and 1,437 had tested negative in Arkansas. The state Department of Health reported that 11 people had recovered from the virus.

Additionally, two people have died from the virus in Arkansas.

According to Hutchinson, a legislative sessions is scheduled for Thursday to address economic disruption caused by the outbreak. The state faces a $353 million budget shortfall. Countless businesses have been forced to close or scale down operations as health officials urge people to avoid public gatherings.

According to Hutchinson, more than 18,000 people have filed for unemployment over the past two weeks.

Hutchinson also stated that he will issue a directive banning social gatherings of more than 10. Previously Hutchinson had provided guidance suggesting no social gatherings of more than 10 people.

Across the U.S., more than 60,000 had tested positive for the virus. More than 800 people had died.