ADH Dr. Smith emphasizing workplace safety during COVID-19 daily briefing

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson in DC today, but Dr. Nate Smith with the Department of Health holding down the fort and today he emphasized workplace safety and how important it really is to Arkansas’ full recovery.

Dr. Nate Smith has usually been pretty blunt about the situation in Arkansas and today when he stressed worksite safety it was more of the same, folks have to feel safe all around.

“Businesses businesses have to stay open, to do that they have to have workers coming in not being afraid that they’re going to be infected, their customers also have to be confident that they are not at risk of getting infection,” said Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith says all the directives are not meant to be anything other than efforts to keep people safe.

“Some of these some of these directives seem somewhat restrictive and you know at times we’ve had complaints but these are all really designed to make those worksites safer,” said Dr. Smith.

Beyond directives he wants any business without specific guidelines to follow social guidance the department has put out even if there are some inconveniences along the way.

“We really encourage businesses to adapt the guidance and directives that we put out there and to be vigilant,” said Dr. Smith.

He says the Department will consult with smaller businesses to help them with procedures the Department doesn’t want to be tyrant enforcers but teammates with the business community.

“Our goal is compliance not punitive measures that’s the stance that we’ve taken with us as well we really only resort to punitive measures when there is it a clear refusal to come into compliance,” said Dr. Smith.

The team sports announcement delayed until tomorrow as for summer camps counselors at overnight camps can arrive no sooner than May 24 and acmpers no sooner than May 31.

We also spoke with Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston and he says that PUA website is up and running again and they are hopeful that some of those first direct deposits plan to start going out on Friday.

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