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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Coronavirus live updates: Over 300 confirmed cases in Arkansas

Here is a look at the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) headlines from around Arkansas for Wednesday, March 25.

ARKANSAS, USA — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Arkansas.

Credit: KFSM

Live updates:

Here are the latest updates from around Arkansas and the world (all times are CT):

March 25 8:20 p.m. - ADH is now reporting 308 cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas.

March 25 4:45 p.m. - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas has surpassed 300, with new cases reported in Benton County.

March 25 1:52 p.m. - The department of health along with the governor will be working on a directive to stop groups larger than 10 from gathering. 

March 25 1:48 p.m. - Current breakdown of Arkansas' positive COVID-19 cases: 13 children 18 or younger, 94 ages 65 or older, 173 ages 19-64.

March 25 1:46 p.m. - Arkansas unemployment numbers: Over 9,000 unemployment claims filed last week, 8,000 claims this week and this morning over 700 claims were filed.

March 25 1:45 p.m. - Through expedited licensing in March, over 100 new physicians have been licensed and 300 new nursing licenses have been issued.

March 25 12:37 p.m. - There are now 280 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. There are 11 people in recovery.

March 25 9:39 a.m. - Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be giving a live update on the status of coronavirus in Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. in Little Rock.

March 25 8:50 a.m. - The Arkansas Department of Health is now reporting 236 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. There has been a total of 1,050 negative tests thus far in Arkansas. 

March 24 9:00 p.m. - The Arkansas Department of Health is now reporting 232 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas.

March 24 4:53 p.m. - The Arkansas Department of Health is now reporting 230 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas.

March 24 1:42 p.m. - Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $1 million of personal protective equipment (PPE) would arrive in Arkansas this week. 

March 24 1:40 p.m. - Two coronavirus related deaths have been confirmed in Arkansas. One person was in their 50s and the other was in their 90s. Health officials say at least one of them had an underlying health condition. Neither case is known to be travel related. 

March 24 1:38 p.m. - Gov. 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.  

March 24 12:33 p.m. - The Arkansas Department of Health is now reporting 218 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state.

March 24 11:55 a.m. - According to the Faulkner County Deputy Coroner Robert Edwards, a 91-year-old man died this morning of COVID-19.
He died at Conway Regional Health System around 8 a.m. 

March 24 10:30 a.m. - Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he will be holding a briefing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to give an update on the state's response to coronavirus.

March 24 9:00 a.m. - The Arkansas Department of Health is now reporting 206 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, with a total of 1,153 Arkansans tested. 

March 23 7:40 p.m. - There are now 201 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas, six patients have recovered so far. 931 have tested negative in Arkansas.

MARCH 23 4:32 p.m. - There are now 197 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas, including the first confirmed case in Crawford County. 

MARCH 23 3:50 p.m. - There are now two confirmed cases in the city of Fort Smith. The second case is related to the J.C. Penny case. There's no specific information regarding the first case. 

MARCH 23 2:43 p.m. - Health officials directing beauty salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and spas to close temporarily.

MARCH 23 2:41 p.m. - Five individuals have recovered from coronavirus in Arkansas. 

MARCH 23 2:36 p.m. - Arkansas tax filing deadline extended to July 15 for individual filers. Corporate filers will have to submit on the original date of April 15. 

MARCH 23 2:35 p.m - Gov. Hutchinson: As a result of layoffs and business slowdowns, the state is expecting a $160 million reduction in state revenue.

MARCH 23 2:30 p.m. - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson gives an update on the response to coronavirus in the state. 

MARCH 23 1:45 p.m. - Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas will expand visitor restrictions beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.

MARCH 23 1:10 p.m - The Arkansas Health Department reports there are now 174 confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas.

MARCH 23 1:00 p.m - The University of Arkansas released a statement that said a student at the university had tested positive for coronavirus.  The student, who had recently been in contact with someone who had visited from out-of-state, is symptomatic and is in self-isolation off campus.  

MARCH 23 10:10 a.m - Gov. Asa Hutchinson will give an update on the response to coronavirus in Arkansas Monday, March 23, at 2:30 p.m. in Little Rock. The press conference will be streamed live on 5newsonline.com. 

MARCH 23 10:05 a.m - A JCPenney employee at Central Mall in Fort Smith has contracted coronavirus, according to a statement forwarded to 5NEWS from a JCPenney official. There is no indication that any other associates at the store have contacted the illness. 

MARCH 23 9:43 a.m - 168 Arkansans have tested positive for coronavirus, with almost 1000 people tested in the state as of Monday morning.

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.