Arkansas - COVID-19 Covered

Arkansas

Total Cases: 105,318 (October 25)
Fatalities: 1,797 (October 25)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Arkansas can be found here.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Hutchinson announced some nonessential out-patient medical procedures can resume on April 27. (April 22)
  • Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order directing commercial lodging and short-term rentals, such as hotels, motels, and vacation rentals, to only permit certain types of guests in order to protect public health during the COVID-19 crisis. (April 4)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order that will require employers to pay for medical care and provide time-off pay for workers who test positive for COVID-19. (June 15)
  • Governor Hutchinson announced a temporary waiver of the requirement to search for a new job while receiving unemployment. (April 17)
  • Governor Hutchinson directed the Arkansas Department of Commerce to expedite unemployment benefits to assist employees impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and directed the Department of Commerce to waive current work-search requirements for 30 days and to allow unemployed individuals to apply for benefits online or by telephone rather than in person to minimize the risk of exposure. (March 17)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Arkansas has applied for the new federal program that would provide $300 additional dollars a week for unemployed residents. (August 20) 
  • Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order creating the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force, which will develop an industry-specific strategy and provide recommendations for the state’s economic recovery. (April 18) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order granting all businesses and their employees immunity from civil liability as a result of exposure to COVID-19. (June 15) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced the state legislature approved $55 million in funding for the Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program to help businesses reopen and provide them assistance to ensure health and safety standards for employees and customers. (May 4) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced the opening of the Arkansas Ready for Business initiative to aid small business owners recovering from financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 1) 
  • The Arkansas Economic Development Commission has established a $7 million loan program to provide assistance to businesses affected by thCOVID-19 outbreak. (March 17) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopenings:

  • Arkansas has expanded nursing home visitation, allowing more people to visit loved ones. (October 6) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced that Halloween will not be canceled in Arkansas. (September 22) 
  • Governor Hutchinson signed an executive order that will allow anyone with concerns about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic to qualify for an absentee ballot. (August 7) 
  • Some police departments in Arkansas are refusing to enforce mask requirementseven within their departmentsciting political opposition and limited resources. (July 26) 
  • Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order mandating face coverings be worn in public. (July 16) 
  • Governor Hutchinson signed an executive order allowing cities to implement mandatory mask ordinances. (July 3) 
  • Governor Hutchinson said reopenings in Arkansas are “clearly on pause.” (June 25) 
  • Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith will reportedly issue new guidance for face coverings, which require them to be worn in all indoor and outdoor settings where individuals are exposed to non-household members and social distancing of six feet or more cannot be assured. (June 19) 
  • The Arkansas Department of Health, in consultation with Governor Hutchinson, issued new guidance for faith-based organizations, which will allow places of worship to resume in-person services if they follow strict social distancing guidelines. (May 4) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced barber shops, tattoo parlors, body art schools, cosmetology establishments, massage therapy clinics, and spas, and medical spas my resume operations on May 6so long as they follow certain health and safety guidelines. (May 1) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Students in Arkansas returned to in-person classes today. (August 24) 
  • Governor Hutchinson said that high school student-athletes will be safer if school sports are allowed to proceed this fall. (August 12) 
  • Governor Hutchinson created a new task force to examine high school sports during the pandemic. (July 31) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced that he is committed to opening schools as planned on August 24. (July 21) 
  • Schools in Conway will mandate masks be worn by students in the 5th grade and above. (July 9) 
  • Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key announced updated guidance for schools as they prepare to reopen for fall classes, including advising students to wear face coverings while riding the bus. (June 23) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Arkansas colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Giving Opportunities

April 20, 2020

Requesting medical supplies, including sanitizer, IV sets and masks for workers.

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com