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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at a news conference on Friday afternoon in this screenshot from a live feed.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said three additional people tested presumptively positive for covid-19 as of Friday afternoon.

Two were a couple known to have been traveling while the other person's illness is of an unknown origin.

Hutchinson said there are now nine presumptive positive cases in the state.

In a separate news conference, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said the city had recorded its first community transmission of covid-19 on Friday.

A community transmission of the respiratory illness caused by the new, globally spreading coronavirus means that the new patient had no known contact with the other known patients in Arkansas.

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“This means that there are individuals in the community who are affected who we don’t know about and one of them transmitted it to this individual,” Cam Patterson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences said at a news conference at City Hall. “There’s nothing surprising about this. We knew that this is going to happen.”

Patterson said the measures to prevent the spread of the illness remain the same. Those include hand washing and social distancing.

Hutchinson said the new cases are all in Central Arkansas. He advised against gatherings larger than 200 people in the counties affected by the cases, where schools have also been closed: Pulaski, Saline, Jefferson and Grant counties.

Check back for updates.


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