Governor Hutchinson, Secretary Smith provides Coronavirus update, Arkansas schools will close starting Tuesday



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson was joined by Dr. Nathaniel Smith with ADH, Dr. Cam Patterson with UAMS and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to update the public on the Coronavirus in Arkansas.

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that starting Monday school districts in Arkansas have an optional day to help prepare for closure, and then starting Tuesday schools must close through Spring Break.

Governor Hutchinson also said that grocery stores will not close and supply should remain the same. He urges the public to refrain from panic buying.

He also said they are hoping to get ADH up to 200 tests a day by the end of the week along with UAMS and commercial testing.

UAMS is accelerating developments on testing and hoping to get up to 200 test a day by the end of the week as well.

Overall they are hoping to get 440 total testings a day.

Dr. Nate Smith tells us that of four new cases, two of them were reported by a commercial lab and they have now self-isolated themselves. The two cases are in Garland County, and they had no contacts and no school-age children

Other two cases are contacts to the original case at Jefferson Regional.

Dr. Cam Patterson from UAMS updated us on the work being done to frther develop UAMS as a testing and treatment center.

They are accelerating development for UAMS to do up to 240 additional tests per week.

He says to not go into an emergency room if you think you may have COVID-19.

Drive-through screening near UAMS is available and Dr. Patterson said they completed over 500 tests.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge updated us on price gouging laws and possible consequences price gougers can face.

She told us price gouging laws are now in effect, and applies to those buying and those selling.

The law includes businesses or individuals selling items, and limits to 10% above market value.

A pharmacy in western Arkansas was accused of selling case of water for $8.

This law includes medical equipment.

All sellers will be held accountable.

She ask that hospitals and individuals please let Attorney General’s office know of any instances of price gouging.

For every violation; you can receive a penalty of $10,000.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Governor Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nathaniel Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, will provide an update to media this afternoon regarding Arkansas’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

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