Number of COVID-19 cases increases to 118 in Arkansas

No plans for Shelter in Place; You have to adjust stated Gov. Hutchinson in respond to COVID19

To date, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson shared in today’s conference that there were “no plans in place” for a shelter in place unlike other states across the nation.

There are now 118 confirmed poistive COVID19 cases in Arkansas, equally divided between both men and women. Of the 118 - 9 are children, 32 senior 65+ and 77 adults, ages 19-62. 21 percent of cases are African American, 68 percent white and the remainder are divided among multiple races.

13 of the 118 have been hospitalized with seven requiring ICU admittence and four patients in need of a venelator at some juncture during their hospital course.

There is still a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Dr. Nathan Smith has asked that medical teams make the most of their PPE stating, “Protect yourself, but do not be wasteful.”

Dentists across the state have received guidance to focus on absolute necessary procedures and hospitals are asked to consider their resources and emirate elective surgical procedures to limit the number of beds occupied and usage of PPE. Urban hospitals would need the additional bed due to a possible influx of patients with COVID19.

Beginning Monday, UAMS will have the ability to assist the ADH in testing with a more rapid turnaround time rather than sending and awaiting results from commercial labs. It was encouraged during the conference for physicians to use telemedicine first rather than having face-to face contact with patients since the service has expanded throughout the state.

“We want to be able to give people the confidence that if we do what we are supposed to do, we will be able to meet our tend line and we will seek the peak of this in 6-8 weeks ( approximately May 16),” stated Hutchinson. With that determination, Hutchinson reiterated the lack of need for a Shelter in Place as other states have succumb to to flatten the curve. With each state being unique and different during this public health emergency, Hutchinson believes ht directives and guidance which are currently in place will allow Arkansas to meet the peak allowing for a “closer time to get back to normal … back to normal in a quicker fashion.”

Hutchinson commented that a definite answer has not been given on the status of the filing date for taxes within Arkansas. Two factors he mentioned which differentiated with the guidelines were the fiscal year for Arkansas end in June and the budget within the state must be balanced by June 30.

Hutchinson requested for citizens and the media to use social media to expand the information flow to enable the state of meet the objectives in the 6-8 weeks time period.

Hutchinson simply stated that as Arkansans, we have to adjust. In terms or bills and extensions of fees or court costs (as asked by a reporter), Hutchinson responded, “You have to adjust. (You) Cannot stop paying your rent. You cannot stop paying your mortgage payment. You certainly will have a bigger challenge if you lose your job and I expect some compassion in terms of those relying upon those payments.”

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