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12 total Arkansas deaths related to COVID-19, officials say

As of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, a total of 12 Arkansans have died from COVID-19.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — In a press conference on April 2, Governor Hutchinson announced two more Arkansans has died due to COVID-19. This makes 12 total deaths in the state.

90-year-old William Barton, a member of the Greers Ferry Assembly of God, a church that endured a large number of positive cases in Cleburne County was among the first COVID-19 deaths in Arkansas.

Pulaski County Chief Deputy Coroner Julie Voegele confirmed the second death as 59-year-old Brian Dill of Sherwood.

The third death was a 73-year-old man from Cleburne County, Voegele said.

Voegele also confirmed one of the two new deaths announced on Saturday was 80-year old Franklin Ross of Morrilton. He died overnight at St. Vincent. He had a history of stroke and high blood pressure.

The other deaths have not yet been identified. At least one of the people who died had underlying health issues.

Of the 643 confirmed positive cases in Arkansas, 8 are pregnant, 50 have diabetes, 40 have heart disease, 23 have chronic lung disease, 12 have chronic kidney disease, one has chronic liver disease, and 18 have immunitive compromising conditions.

"What we are seeing is the calm before the storm, although many don't see it that way," Hutchinson said, "but we are on the lower end of the slope before it goes up."

More on this story as it develops.

Key facts to know:

  • 643 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 8,523 total tests
  • 7,880 negative test results
  • 12 reported deaths
  • 47 recoveries
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

RELATED: Real-time updates: 523 positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas

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