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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.

Monday school closings due to coronavirus outbreak

Gov. Asa Hutchinson mandated all schools to close Tuesday (March 17) but some are choosing to close a day early.

ARKANSAS, USA — Governor Asa Hutchinson says the state continues to follow CDC guidelines, but as a result of parent's concerns, he has authorized each school district to close school for on-site instruction through the end of this week (March 16-20).

Hutchinson says he recommends schools move to online instruction on Monday (March 16), but it will be mandatory on Tuesday (March 17). Classes will resume after spring break which is March 23-27.

Schools closed Monday include:

The closings do not apply to daycares.

For information on Fayetteville Public School meals and health services during these closures, click here.

Four more Arkansans have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), totaling 16 cases so far in Arkansas. 

RELATED: ADH reports 16 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, as of now, there are 30 people under investigation for COVID-19, 237 people being monitored by ADH with daily check-ins, and 1-3 people have tested negative for the virus. 

Of the four new cases, two are related to the first initial case in Jefferson County.

There are over 100 negative tests so far in Arkansas.

The ADH can now test up to 40 people a day for the virus and say that number should increase by the end of the week.

The governor told the public to avoid "panic buying" during this time. 

ADH has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about the novel coronavirus. During normal business hours (8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136.

We will continue to update this story with the latest information. 

RELATED: Arkansas public schools closed until the end of the week due to coronavirus concerns

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