More state funds have been made available to help Arkansas order an additional $45 million worth of personal protection equipment (PPE) and ventilators that are on the market, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at his daily statewide COVID-19 briefing on Monday.
Last week’s special session had already resulted in a $30 million PPE order for the front-line workers. Hutchinson noted the decision to purchase additional PPE stemmed from forecasts and projections regarding how the coronavirus will evolve through the crisis.
Plus the governor noted that thanks to the Federal CARES Act, $1.25 billion should be soon on the way to help Arkansas in costs related to the coronavirus. Hutchinson said he would issue an executive order to form a 15-member committee of his staff and legislators to guide on the use of the money.
The governor also participated with other governors in a conference call with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence this morning. Hutchinson said the Federal Government is focused on the “hot spots” throughout the country, including New York City, Washington, and Louisiana, so it will be more challenging for Arkansas to get into the supply chain. And, Hutchinson noted he is still working with multiple labs in giving the state more of a priority in obtaining tests.
In other news from the briefing:
- The statewide total for positive cases has risen 47 from Sunday and now stands as 473. Seventy-three positive cases are health-care workers.
- One new death has been reported. The victim was over 65 and was a resident at a nursing home. The death brings the total in Arkansas from COVID-19 complications to seven.
- Sixty-two have been hospitalized, which is up 19 from Sunday, and there have been 29 recoveries reported.
- One new county is on the list of counties with positive cases: Arkansas County.
- There have been some limits made at Arkansas State Parks. The parks are open, but extensive measures are being made to protect visitors. Lodges, bathhouses, and visitor centers are largely closed, and campsites will be limited to self-contained recreational vehicles. Campsites’ entries will utilize a “contactless” check-in system for campers.
- Health Director Nate Smith encouraged Arkansans to get outside, and enjoy the sun and even some sports. He singled out the sport of tennis (vs. say, basketball) as appropriate because the game requires a more than six-foot separation. Whatever sport residents choose, Smith again stressed it require social distancing.
- And, Gov. Hutchinson announced he will be extending restrictions on state casinos. The current restrictions are scheduled to expire the first of April.
The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Sen. James Sturch, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, and state Rep. Stu Smith. Download the free White River Now app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.
We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air, on White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the White River Now app on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ.
Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLE, Outlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.