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Almost 27% of COVID-19 Arkansas cases in three nursing homes

44 of the 165 COVID-19 cases in Arkansas are nursing home workers and residents at three nursing homes.
Credit: Talk Business & Politics

ARKANSAS, USA — An unprecedented number of Arkansans – up to 10,000 – have in recent days filed for unemployment insurance, and around 300 businesses have sought info on an emergency loan program, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other state officials said during a Sunday (March 22) press conference.

Unemployment filings and loan assistance are driven by how COVID-19 has significantly disrupted economic activity globally.

COVID-19 cases in Arkansas rose from 118 on Saturday to 165 on Sunday, with 119 persons under investigation and 517 people being monitored because of a possible risk. Three Arkansas counties posted double-digit cases – Pulaski (52), Cleburne (25) and Jefferson (20). As of Sunday at noon, there were more than 31,000 U.S. cases and around 290 deaths, with 53% of those in two states – New York (114) and Washington (94). Globally, there were around 319,000 cases and almost 14,000 deaths.

Gov. Hutchinson said the best estimate is that 8,000 to 10,000 have filed jobless claims in the past few days.

“We anticipate that that number will continue to go up,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said.

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Acknowledging glitches in the system, Preston said the state is working to ensure the process goes smoother for those who file online for benefits. He urged people to avoid visits to state unemployment offices to file a claim to avoid possible COVID-19 spread, and because those people are working to respond to the online claims.

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