CLINTON, Ark. — After a brief shutdown to hinder the coronavirus’s spread, Arkansas began opening up, slowly and cautiously, on May 11. Businesses are placing limits on the number of customers they will serve at any one time, and social distancing and mask wearing is still required in establishments like restaurants. The state’s Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, has been critical of businesses and customers that don’t follow these rules. Even so, Arkansas has seen a second peak of coronavirus infection, as cases surge especially among younger people and the Latino population in northwestern counties. On Thursday, Governor Hutchinson announced the largest single-day increase in community transmission — 261 cases.
Despite this, and despite predictions that the virus will take a “crushing toll” in rural areas like