Governor lays out criteria to be met before slowly re-opening businesses

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Here at home, 3,017 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Arkansas. 60 of today’s new cases came from the community and 16 are from the Arkansas Department of Corrections Cummins Unit.

203 cases are in nursing homes across the state. 316 are healthcare workers who have tested positive for the virus. Today there are 109 hospitalizations, and 50 Arkansans have died from the virus.

At today’s daily briefing, Governor Hutchinson laid out the criteria that need to be met before he and other state officials feel it’s safe to slowly re-open businesses.

Today Governor Hutchinson reviewed some of the gateway criteria that the state will use when debating what restrictions they will loosen up come May 4.

These are part of the White House’s recommendations, but the states do have some flexibility on these, but a downward trajectory in influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptom-related cases over a 14-day period.

Also, documented cases of COVID-19 or a downward trend in the percentage of cases as long as testing is maintained at certain levels or increased, hence the reason for the big push and surge.

Officials say that the supply-chain for these supplies has improved and with the state having an inventory right now, the Governor says Arkansas is in a good spot, but also hospitals must be able to treat patients without crisis care and have workers, which the state has made a priority from the onset.

Also, the state is resuming elective surgeries today and one of the reasons those were suspended was to save personal protective equipment resources. That situation has improved greatly.

“Our supply chain continues to grow and what we’re seeing is that there are now multiple channels for that protective equipment to get to the clinics and the hospital it’s partly their supply chain, it’s partly the FEMA channels, and partly comes from the state so with all of that combined we are we are much more optimistic and comfortable with where we are with PPE,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Now the Governor also mentioned that Arkansas meat processors are in good shape right now. The Department of Health has inspected some of the facilities in the state to make sure they are putting to practice those health guidelines and currently the supply chain appears to be okay with that industry.

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