COVID-19 update as of the Governor’s press briefing 3/16/2020

Since yesterday’s briefing there have been 6 new positive cases, raising the total number in our state to 22. Four of these were from central AR and the other two were from in Cleburne County – tied to out of state travel.

Looking forward:
1) ** Every instance of the total 22, except one, was preceded by out of state travel.** So the first big takeaway is limit your travel as much as possible. Particularly with spring break coming up, so consider canceling any out of state plans so that we can slow the spread as effectively as possible.

2) Testing will be dramatically increasing in the next week, starting tomorrow. By this weekend we’ll be able to do 250 in-house tests (8-10 hour turnaround time for results) a day. When this happens, we’ll see an increase in the total number of cases. We can expect this and should try not to be overly alarmed. The strategy remains the same. Practice social distancing and avoid out of state travel. If we start those mitigation strategies early, we can prevent wider community spread.

3) We have received new CDC guidelines within the last 24 hours. Their recommendation was no indoor events greater than 50 people in close proximity. There will be commercial enterprises with more than this number as a whole, but the Guidelines are meant to address people in close proximity in a closed space. Restaurants will be allowed to stay open, if they choose, but the Governor encourages them to follow these guidelines.

4) The state has limited visitor access to our prisons and is currently conducting screenings of all visitors. The Governor acknowledges this could change as we see more cases.

5) Secretary Key reiterated the importance of creating routines and normalcy at home as much as possible. Kids need this, and won’t be getting it at school as usual, so to the extent that we can, it’s important to provide it at home.

6) Finally, the Governor is working on unemployment benefit solutions to help folks who are impacted financially by these mitigation strategies.

2020-03-25T01:04:27+00:00 Mar 16th, 2020|In the News|