LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A group of Republican lawmakers in Arkansas has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions. The lawsuit was filed Thursday as the state reported one of its highest one-day increases in virus cases and deaths. The 18 lawmakers asked a judge to rule that the state’s directives issued since the pandemic began are invalid, arguing they require legislative approval. The Health Department reported 969 new confirmed cases of the virus and 20 more deaths. The department said 211 of the new cases came from Washington County, where the University of Arkansas is located.