Arkansas - COVID-19 Covered

Arkansas

Total Cases: 488,316 (September 23)
Tests Administered: 2,805,534 (March 7)
Fatalities: 7,528 (September 23)
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)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Arkansas will introduce a new state-run program with higher income limits and simpler documentation requirements that will make more residents eligible for rental assistance payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 17) 
  • Arkansas is set to become one of the first states in the Mid-South to end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs. (May 10) 
  • Arkansas applied for the 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. (August 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) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Hutchinson announced that the state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration would expire on May 30. (May 21) 
  • Governor Hutchinson signed into law legislation that would ban state or local mask mandates. (April 30) 
  • Arkansas lawmakers gave initial approval to measures prohibiting requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access services and governments imposing mask mandates similar to one recently lifted by the state. (April 22) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced all Arkansas residents 16 years of age or older would be eligible for to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (March 30) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced the state’s mask would be rescinded. All residents were encouraged to still wear masks in private businesses and venues where were required. (March 30) 
  • Arkansas announced that residents in group 1-C of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan would be eligible to receive the vaccine. (March 17) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced beginning the week of March 15, mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics would be held weekly at one location in each of the Arkansas Department of Health’s five public health regions across the state. (March 11) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced that residents 65 years of age and older would be included in Phase 1-B of the COVID-19 vaccination process, allowing approximately 115,000 more Arkansans to be eligible. (February 23) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced he would not extend the 11:00PM curfew for restaurants and bars since cases of COVID-19 in the state have decreased. (February 2) 
  • Governor Hutchinson extended the state of emergency for another 60 days. (December 29) 
  • Governor Hutchinson announced that some indoor venues would need prior approval from the Arkansas Department of Health when holding an event with ten or more people attending. (December 23) 
  • Five Arkansas health workers, including the state’s surgeon general, were among the first in the state to receive COVID-19 vaccinations on December 14. (December 14) 
  • The Arkansas Health Department issued a directive requiring businesses licensed to sell and allow consumption of alcohol on their premises to close by 11:00PM. (November 19) 
  • Some police departments in Arkansas refused to enforce mask requirements—even within their departments—citing 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) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Hutchinson announced the state would longer requires students exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine so long as they are fully vaccinated against the virus. (June 9) 
  • Siloam Springs School Board members voted unanimously to rescind the district’s face mask policy. (May 5) 

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.

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