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Another Arkansas lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus

December 24, 2020 GMT
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks remotely to legislators on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 in Little Rock, Ark., about his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Hutchinson is proposing $50 million in tax cuts in his budget plan. State lawmakers across the country will be convening in 2021 with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic rippling through much of their work — and even affecting the way they work. After 10 months of emergency orders and restrictions from governors and local executive officials, some state lawmakers are eager to reassert their power over statewide decisions shaping the way people shop, work, worship and attend school (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks remotely to legislators on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 in Little Rock, Ark., about his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Hutchinson is proposing $50 million in tax cuts in his budget plan. State lawmakers across the country will be convening in 2021 with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic rippling through much of their work — and even affecting the way they work. After 10 months of emergency orders and restrictions from governors and local executive officials, some state lawmakers are eager to reassert their power over statewide decisions shaping the way people shop, work, worship and attend school (AP Photo/Andrew Demillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Another Arkansas lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19, the state House of Representatives said Thursday, as officials urged caution around Christmas gatherings after virus hospitalizations hit an all-time high.

State Rep. Bruce Coleman notified the Speaker of the House that he has tested positive for COVID-19, House spokeswoman Cecillea Pond-Mayo said. She said the Mountainburg Republican is in quarantine and doing well.

At least 20 Arkansas state lawmakers are known to have tested positive for the virus so far this year, including several who tested positive after attending state budget hearings in October.

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On Wednesday, The Arkansas Department of Health reported that 1,110 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a new record number.

Arkansas has seen 3,376 COVID-19 related deaths to date, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 186.6, an increase of 8.6%. One in every 183 people in Arkansas tested positive in the past week.

U.S. health officials have asked people to stay home instead of getting together over the holidays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that if people do travel, they should get tested before leaving home and when they get back.