Governor Hutchinson updates on COVID-19 in Arkansas

Hutchinson provides COVID-19 updates to Arkansans

During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s 10:30 media conference, the issues at hand were Unemployment Insurance and the need to increase testing sites within the state of Arkansas.

According to Hutchinson, measures have been taken to ease the hardships employees may encounter due to a layoff with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include waiving the eligibility period from one week (essentially a two-week timeframe) period to immediacy. A waiver is now in place for applicants to apply online rather than in person and they have waived the ‘work requirement’ of Unemployment Insurance for thirty days. Secretary of Commerce Michael Preston assured those in attendance that the UI Trust Fund was in excellent condition. To apply for your UI benefits, simply visit the following website or call the local Department of Workforce Services.

Hutchinson also shared his confidence in the change of criteria for testing as well as an increase of testing availability within the public health lab. Today, testing for COVID-19 is done through the Arkansas Department of Health, UAMS and commercial test providers. By testing with the commercial test providers, patients can experience a delay of at least a minimum of two ways. “By scaling up what we do at the public health lab, the time of the results would be cut down to hours and not days,” shared Hutchinson.

Hutchinson commended the public for adhering to the restrictions in place and for the ongoing support provided amongst each other. “I am very proud of the way we have been supporting each other. Neighbor to neighbor. Love is still there…. even through social distancing,” said Hutchinson. Accolades were also given by the governor to the health care professionals within the state of Arkansas by being ready, innovative and taking the lead. Today marks the first day in which no additional positive cases have been found in Arkansas with more than 200 negative results.

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