State issues directive to long-term care facilities, touts they are ready for coronavirus


LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Monday lawmakers and health officials issued a directive to long-term care facilities in the state and also spoke on how the state will handle the coronavirus when a positive case does turn up.

“In the event we have a case in Arkansas, which I think is very likely that will at some point in time, one of the most important things we need to do is to not overreact either in our policies or in what we do on a day to day basis as Arkansans,” said State Representative Jack Ladyman.

Medical Director for Outbreak Response Jennifer Dillaha said, “The situation of an outbreak in a long-term facility in Washington state was especially concerning to us.”

The issue in Washington prompted the directive for long-term care facilities in Arkansas. Visitors will now be asked about their travel and potential exposure to sickness over a 14-day period prior to visiting a facility.

Arkansas hospitals are also concerned about the potential spreading of disease and overcrowding.

Jodiane Tritt with the Arkansas Hospital Association said, “The most important message your hospitals want you to hear is this, unless you are experiencing symptoms of a medical emergency, don’t come see us.”

The Arkansas Health Department should see an increase in tests thanks to the $8.3 billion issued last week from the Trump Administration.

Currently, ADH is capable of handling 20 tests per day.

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