New Announcements Today – April 2

Questions regarding shelter in place:
Governor’s response to questions regarding need for shelter in place:

The strategy of a targeted response to this virus in Arkansas has proven to be effective in flattening the curve in Arkansas. As noted by Dr. Smith, Arkansas has been as effective in flattening the curve as any other state, including those with “shelter in place” orders. See attached document for list of actions taken to reduce spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas and latest model from the Department of Health.

While many other states have issued some form of “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders, typical exemptions include outdoor activities, manufacturing, banks, hardware stores, laundry services, legal services, accounting services, insurance services, farmer’s markets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and many more.

If the Governor were to issue shelter in place order today, tomorrow morning over 700,000 Arkansans would still go to work. Many others would still be going to grocery stores, hardware stores and other places deemed essential. At the same time, if a shelter in place order were issued, over 100,000 Arkansans would lose their jobs.

It is being evaluated on a daily basis whether further actions are needed and whether or not a shelter in place would make an impact beyond the current targeted strategy. These decisions will be based on solid public health data along with the recommendations of Secretary Smith and the Department of Health.

Secretary Smith’s questions/comments regarding shelter in place:

What is meant by a stay at home order? In theory this means all Arkansans are at home. However, in every state there are a number of exceptions, so many individuals are not at home.

What are you trying to accomplish? The goal in Arkansas is not to tick a box that we’re a “stay at home state” but to flatten the curve. Even states who implemented a stay at home order early on continue to see a rise in number of cases similar or higher than the rate of growth in Arkansas.

Do stay at home orders work? According to Dr. Smith, the data from other countries who have implemented these orders is inconclusive as to the effectiveness of a stay at home order. Dr. Smith stated that so far there is no compelling evidence that a stay at home order works better than the current approach taken in Arkansas.

Dr. Smith contends that consideration must be given to sustainability of any effective measure. A measure that cannot be sustained for the amount of time needed to significantly reduce the spread of the virus may cause a longer peak period.

Testing: Secretary Smith shared that additional testing supplies have been obtained by the public health lab, putting us in a good position to continue increased testing.

PPE: Progress has been made on solidifying the supply chain for additional PPE. The Governor stated that we are in a much better place than a week ago.

Update on correctional facilities from Secretary Wendy Kelly:

The Arkansas Department of Correction ended in-person visitations beginning March 16th

To counter the impact of cancelling visitations on inmates, families and friends, rates have been reduced for telephone calls, video visitation and emails.

Parole and probation fees have been waived for the month of April.

Arkansas Correctional Industries is making cloth masks for use by inmates and staff.
– Over 1,000 have been made so far
– 20,000 ordered for ADC
– 5,000 ordered by the ADC
medical provider
– Around 80,000 can be made.

ADC will work with the Department of Emergency Management to determine where additional masks should be distributed.

One staff member at ADC has tested positive, but their job duties did not bring them inside the facility or in direct contact with inmates.

Two inmates have been tested for COVID-19

– No inmates have tested positive,
but a small number with potential
symptoms are being monitored.
– Medical copay has been waived
to remove any barrier for inmates
who feel they may be exhibiting

Public Health Resources:
Testing Sites:…/covid-19-guidance-for-ge…

Map Positive cases in AR (by county):…

Health/Guidance for Public: Arkansas Department of Health:…/topics/novel-coronavirus…

Online COVID-19 Screening: UAMS- HealthNow Screening Application:

Insurance issues- AID:…/covid-19-health-insurance…/

2020-04-03T22:05:54+00:00 Apr 2nd, 2020|In the News|