Arkansas bans gatherings of more than 10 to curb virus

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In this April 10, 2019 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters in his office at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Arkansas is banning indoor and enclosed outdoor social gatherings of more than 10 people with a few exceptions in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said Thursday that the directive doesn’t apply to businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, places of worship, government or the judiciary. But it does ban sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the order is needed to avoid imposing a sweeping shelter-in-place order as in other states.

The virus has infected at least 335 people in Arkansas and is blamed for three deaths. 

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