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Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Sunday that all public schools in Arkansas will close for on-site instruction Tuesday to help the state catch up on testing residents for COVID-19.

Monday will serve as an optional day for on-site instruction and schools must close on Tuesday, Hutchinson said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. Schools will resume normal classes March 30, unless further closures are deemed necessary.

By the end of next week, the state should be able to administer 440 COVID-19 tests per day, Hutchinson said.

In Arkansas there are 16 confirmed cases, 30 Persons Under Investigation (PUI), 237 people being monitored daily and 103 past PUIs that had negative test results as of March 15, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Abby Zimmardi is a staff reporter for the Arkansas Traveler, where she has been a staff reporter since April 2019.

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