Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today, Thursday, July 9, that the start date for Arkansas students grades K-12 has been moved back to August 24-26 to give districts additional time to prepare for on-campus learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Initially schools were supposed to begin the school year on August 13. However, due to the spike in positive covid-19 cases in Arkansas, it will be pushed back.

Gov. Hutchinson shared that today Arkansas recorded 806 new positive coronavirus cases, which is the second-highest daily increase since the outbreak began.

Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key told Texarkana Gazette that the pushing the schools' start date back will allow schools more time to develop plans, train teachers and  acquire personal protective equipment and technology.

He added that he still expects the school year to end in late May or early June. However, this is contingent upon the district and other unknown factors.

The total number of active cases as of today (Thursday, July 7), was 5,751, including 131 in nursing homes, 444 in correctional facilities and 5,176 in the general population.