Governor’s press conference today, SUNDAY MARCH 22nd, 2020 (link in comments):
🔘 165 total cases
🔘 Federal government wants states to take the lead on PPE procurement. Feds bought up most of the domestic supply.
🔘 Arkansas received 25% of the PPE we requested. Once we exhaust that supply, we are on our own. Since there are not sufficient supplies domestically, we are looking at our options internationally and making here in AR where possible.
🔘 We have had 8,000-10,000 unemployment claims over the past few days. We would likely have more but our system is overloaded.
🔘 Governor is going to ask the legislature, specifically the AR Legislative Council, to approve $1.1M in Rainy Day Funds to upgrade IT for the Unemployment website.
DR NATE SMITH, ADH:
📍Breakdown on the 165 cases:
93 people ages 19-64
62 people ages 65+
📍19 have been hospitalized
12 have been in ICU
6 have required ventilators
📍61% infected are women
39% infected are men
70% infected are white
18% infected are African American
12% infected fall under “other”
📍44 nursing home workers/residents tested positive from the 3 impacted nursing homes. Most are from Briarwood (Little Rock) with 35 residents and 6 staff testing positive.
📍ADH lab continues to increase testing capacity. The first day they were running 5-10 tests a day. Yesterday they were able to run 139 tests.
📍$400k has been approved to begin a public messaging campaign to help educate Arkansans on what to know and do in regards to COVID-19.
DR CAM PATTERSON, UAMS:
📍They will be prioritizing tests, working with ADH, to test healthcare workers and in-patients suspected of having COVID-19.
📍As we see an increase in testing capabilities, we will see an increase in positive cases.
📍People in communities across the state are being approached by people offering rogue tests and supplies. Don’t not trust them.
SEC MIKE PRESTON, DEPT OF COMMERCE:
📍Our Unemployment Benefits website is undergoing a maintenance period. They are working on it so it can be live 24/7. They are also working to connect it to the federal system, which is where most of the bottleneck is happening.
📍If you need to apply for benefits, DO NOT go into workforce centers across the state-they are working to process claims. GO ONLINE OR CALL THE HOTLINE.
📍Unemployment hotline: 844-908-2178
Starting tomorrow, hotline will be 24/7.
📍SMALL BUSINESSES: Visit arkansasedc. com/covid19 for information on seeking loans and other information. They have received 300 calls and emails so far.