March 23: 201 confirmed cases in Arkansas; Positive test in Cross County

The latest update to the total number of positive COVID cases brings the total to 201 as of 8:00 PM Monday (3/23/2020), according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Source: here. Cross and Lawrence counties both had their first confirmed cases today.

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas: 201. Status Update as of March 23, 2020, 8:00 PM.

No deaths have been reported in Arkansas as of this update. Six recoveries have been added to the list for Arkansas.

  • On Sunday at 12:45 PM, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas was 165, with 711 negative tests. That means 876 total tests had been administered in the state as of Sunday afternoon.
  • As of Monday morning’s update, 168 positive tests with 791 negative brings the total to 959 who had been tested for COVID-19 in Arkansas.
  • As of Monday at 4:30 PM there had been 197 positive tests and 931 negative tests, for a total of 1,128 tests.
  • As of Monday at 8:00 PM, there had been 201 positive test results and 931 negative tests, for a total of 1,132.

Lawrence County’s first case appears to have been confirmed by the numbers released Monday morning.

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4:30 PM 3/23/2020

The Monday night update added Cross County to the list of NEA counties with a positive COVID-19 case.

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8:00 PM 3/23/2020

St. Bernard’s: Only one urgent care open in Jonesboro due to COVID-19

10:30 AM

Batesville School Board postponing election

A Region 8 News report details that the Batesville School District will postpone a vote on the proposed millage increase from April 14 to another date. The decision was made Friday.

353,000 cases worldwide as of Monday morning

An interactive map from Johns Hopkins University is tracking real-time data on the coronavirus pandemic across the world. 353,692 cases worldwide were reported as of 10:20 AM Monday. 15,430 deaths had occurred. 100,443 had recovered.

The United States now has the third most number of cases in the world, with 35,345 reported infected as of Monday morning. 473 Americans had died as of those numbers. Italy remained the second worst at 59,138 cases while China kept the top stop at 81,496 confirmed cases.

Stimulus bill stalls; talks resume today

A giant stimulus bill that would include paychecks for most Americans stalled in the U.S. Senate late Sunday after Democrats voted to block the bill from advancing. The Democrats say the bill does too much to prop up businesses and not enough to help households, hospitals, and health professions. The Washington Post reports more here.

11:30 AM

False info suggests deaths in Arkansas (there are none so far)

Inaccurate information that stated Arkansas had six deaths from COVID-19 circulated on social media over the weekend. So far, as of Monday, March 23, at 11:16 AM, there are zero deaths in Arkansas. The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed this to NEA Report in an email.

Furthermore, Public Information Officer Danyelle McNeill confirmed this map was inaccurate:

The Department of Health confirmed this map was inaccurate.

For correct numbers, an interactive map has been set up by the Arkansas Department of Health. Click here to view.

(This is our source for Arkansas numbers.)

Trumann update

12:00 PM

Johns Hopkins: 4 cases in Craighead, 3 in Poinsett, 3 in Independence, 1 in Greene

According to the interactive map from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are currently four cases of COVID-19 in Craighead County, three in Poinsett, three in Independence, one in Greene, and one in Crittenden. Lawrence County has not yet been updated on their map as of 12:00 PM.

25 cases are shown to be in Cleburne County as of this update.

2:30 PM

Governor provides Monday update

State expects a $160 million reduction in state revenue due to economic effects of this event.

Governor announced:

  • A proposal would allow individual taxpayers in Arkansas deadline extended to July 15, mirroring the federal deadline; Corporate filers will remain the same; He expects the State Legislature to agree with this.
  • The revenue forecast has been revised down by $353.1 million
  • Special session of the general assembly will be needed
  • Directive for barber, beauty shops, nail salons, and tattoo shops to shut down

4:30 PM

Coronavirus Task Force holds briefing in the White House

St. Bernards asks for face masks from public

5:20 PM

Perrin: Please take social distancing seriously

(press release)

Mayor Harold Perrin praised Jonesboro residents who are actively and responsibly practicing social distancing, and encouraged everyone to find the resilience needed for the weeks to come as the novel coronavirus is growing as health and local government officials anticipated.

Four positive cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Craighead County as of Monday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

“As COVID-19 has been confirmed and expanding in our community, we are taking important next steps at the City of Jonesboro,” Perrin said. “So far, we see most of our residents doing a fantastic job of social distancing, which is encouraging.

“But we’re also seeing people who are not behaving responsibly, and it creates tension for the rest of us. It is absolutely critical that everyone take this seriously, and that means no hugs and no handshakes.”

Gov. Asa Hutchison added hair and nail salons, including barbershops, to the list of mandatory closed businesses on Monday. Bars, gyms, and dine-in service at restaurants were closed last week. Only the governor can directly close a business, but Jonesboro Police Department will aid state agencies in enforcing these closures.

JPD Chief Rick Elliott said officers are now making rounds to these businesses for compliance of the Governor’s order.

Perrin said businesses that ignore this order risk loss of their business licenses for five years, and he stressed that residents who do not practice social distancing risk more than their own health. Last week the governor mandated no gatherings of more than 10 people.

“Let’s be clear: You could lead to serious consequences for a loved one,” Perrin said. “I would hate for someone to have to live with that guilt.”

A business page – providing resources and guidelines for small businesses, as well as employees who work or were laid off – has been added to the COVID19 webpage at The Arkansas Department of Health’s website,, offers programs and services for residents, businesses, health care, education and many other specific groups in the service community.

St. Bernards Healthcare has created numerous strategies to adapt to the coronavirus outbreak, including moving all urgent care needs – non-coronavirus related – to the Red Wolf Boulevard location at 333 Red Wolf Blvd. It has created a COVID-19 self-assessment at

JPD’s Elliott warned residents of scammers using your cellphones and computers to take advantage of the situation to make an illegal profit.

“It’s disgusting, but there are bad actors out there who will try to make money off of this,” Elliott said. “Be very wary of people trying to access your personal information, and don’t believe anyone who seeks you out offering a coronavirus test.”

City Attorney Carol Duncan said her office is still serving the public. “Any citizen needing to file an Affidavit for criminal charges may still get those from the Craighead County District Court, or online on the City of Jonesboro webpage, and return them to the Jonesboro Police Department Warrants Division at 410 West Washington,” she said.

“Please make sure you leave a working phone number and an email address, where available, so that you can be contacted about your affidavit if we need further information. If you have the ability to email an affidavit, it should be emailed to If you are returning an affidavit by email, there is no need to have your signature verified by the court or a notary public. If your affidavit is approved for criminal charges, we will make arrangements to notarize your signature.”

6:15 PM

Pocahontas City Hall closed

This story will be updated with more information throughout the day on Monday, March 23, 2020. Check back/refresh for the latest updates.

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