Arkansas COVID-19 update from Governor Hutchinson - March 18

COVID-19 update in the state of Arkansas

As of today, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has confirmed there are 33 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state; however, there has also been 236 tests that have come back negative. Three new counties which are inclusive to the new total are Bradley, Faulkner and Washington. Hutchinson shared the new positive cases were travel related or part of the original exposure. With the breakdown of numbers one case was related to travel to France, two with India and eight were related to domestic travels to Colorado, Springfield, MO, New Orleans and Las Vegas. With spring break approaching next week Hutchinson reiterated, “Re-think the risk of travel and what may happened when you go.”

Telemedicine and Telehealth has increased across the state with patients and physicians. Billing is now available for insurance carriers or Medicaid for the medical services provided. Screening across the state have also increased exponentially during the last couple of days. Prior to yesterday a total of 500 screenings were accounted for; yesterday alone, the state saw 500 screenings.

Hutchinson discussed the actions which took place yesterday in regard to Unemployment Insurance and commented on measures taken for Small Businesses and industries with possible layoffs. Hutchinson announced the allocation of $12 million in a Community Block Grant Fund.

Vouchers will be available through March 27 for child care providers. While 803 child care providers have closed in Arkansas, more than 1200 have remained open. Each of these centers will receive a reimbursement at an enhanced rate of $10, $7 and $5 according to the age range.

In regard to SNAP benefits, recipients have been granted a Mass Good Cause exemption for the months of April and May relinquishing the work requirement for adults.

To date, Hutchinson stated plans were still in place for schools to return on March 30.

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