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

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 19,648,084 — Total deaths: 727,024 — Total recoveries — 11,941,723Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 4,998,105 — Total deaths: 162,425 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid — Democrats, and some Republicans, criticize the move
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
Updated 3 hours ago - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."