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Seven COVID-19 related deaths in Arkansas, officials say

There have now been seven total deaths from COVID-19 in Arkansas. Dr. Smith with the ADH said they are asking those who have recovered to donate their plasma.

CONWAY, Ark. — There have now been seven total deaths from COVID-19 in Arkansas. Dr. Smith with the ADH said they are asking those who have recovered to donate their plasma.

90-year-old William Barton, a member of the Greers Ferry Assembly of God, a church that endured a large number of positive cases in Cleburne County was among the first COVID-19 deaths in Arkansas.

Pulaski County Chief Deputy Coroner Julie Voegele confirmed the second death as 59-year-old Brian Dill of Sherwood.

Voegele confirmed the third death was a 73-year-old man from Cleburne County.

Voegele confirmed that one of the two news deaths announced on Saturday was 80-year old Franklin Ross, of Morrilton. He died overnight at St. Vincent. He had a history of stroke and high blood pressure.

The other death have not yet been identified.

Smith said that at least one of the people who died had an underlying health condition.

"What we are seeing is the calm before the storm, although many don't see it that way," Hutchinson said, "but we are on the lower end of the slope before it goes up."

More on this story as it develops.

Key facts to know:

  • 473 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 5,735 total tests
  • 5,262 negative test results
  • 7 reported deaths
  • 29 recoveries
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

RELATED: Real-time updates: 206 positive COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, over 1,100 total tests

RELATED: Officials say 7 people have recovered from coronavirus in Arkansas