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Gov. Hutchinson declares public health emergency due to spike in COVID cases

The governor said 2,843 cases were reported on Thursday with 11 additional COVID-related deaths.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Gov. Hutchinson reinstated a public health emergency for the state of Arkansas on Thursday after nearly 3,000 COVID-19 cases were reported within the last 24 hours.

The governor said 2,843 cases were reported with 11 additional COVID-related deaths.

"The size of that number, 2,843, is one of the largest days that we've seen since the pandemic started," Hutchinson said.

The public health proclamation will extend for 60 days and is effective immediately.

Hutchinson added any time there are staffing shortages in hospitals with patients waiting in ambulances to be seen, that is considered a public health emergency.

The governor also announced a special session to amend Act 1002, the mask mandate ban.