Apr 12, 2020 - Health

Arkansas governor: Churches are following social distancing "very carefully"

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that churches that are holding Easter services in his state are following social distancing guidelines "very carefully."

Why it matters: Arkansas has banned indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, but offers exemptions for religious services. The state government, which has come under fire for not issuing a stay-at-home order, recommends that people attending services follow social distancing guidelines.

  • Hutchinson has been trying to discourage people from attending services after nearly three dozen people who gathered at an Arkansas church last month tested positive for the coronavirus, NBC News reports.

What he's saying: "If there's a serious health risk because of a gathering, we'll give a very specific directive and have a discussion with that church," Hutchinson said.

  • "They're just as concerned about their parishioners as I am as governor. And so we're worshipping remotely this Easter. And I expect everybody to make sure they follow those social distancing guidelines and not gather whenever you have a risk."

The big picture: Arkansas has reported 1,228 cases and 27 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Asked why he has not issued a stay-at-home order, Hutchinson said that "there's no such thing as a true lockdown" and that the state's "targeted approach" of recommending masks and social distancing has been successful thus far.

Go deeper: Easter poses major social distancing test

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Go deeper (2 min. read)ArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus

Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday that the scientific data "is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy" of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

Driving the news: The comments came in response to news that France on Wednesday banned the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, after a large retrospective study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took the anti-malarial drug.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,722,859 — Total deaths: 356,435 — Total recoveries — 2,374,387Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,702,911 — Total deaths: 100,576 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  4. States: America's megacities could lose economic growth due to remote work.
  5. 2020: Joe Biden to speak virtually at Texas Democratic Convention.
  6. ✈️Transportation: What airlines are offering passengers to ensure social distancing.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy