Per Governor Asa Hutchinson’s press conference on Thursday, March 19, 2020:
- Arkansas K-12 schools will be closed through April 17 and then reevaluated based on the current health information. Education will continue through alternative instruction methods. K-12 closed.
- Hospitals, clinics and mental health facilities will be mandated to screen staff and visitors will temperature and symptom screening.
- Bars and restaurants will be closed for dine in service and open for carryout drive through and delivery. Those licensed to sell beer and wine with a permit issued by the Arkansas ABC may expanded so they may sell corked or sealed bottles of wine.
- Indoor venues, such as gyms are closed to non-essential functions.
Hutchinson said, “we need to separate what we need to be doing with what is optional to be doing and trying to reduce the risk of community spread and exposure, particularly of our vulnerable populations.” He also encouraged businesses to telecommuting, video conferencing or remote work wherever possible. They should implement screening of staff and visitors and enforce social distancing.
Governor Hutchinson’s address to the public:
- Older individuals and those with serious medical conditions should stay home and avoid unnecessary contact with visitors.
- Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Use the delivery, drive through and carryout services of local restaurants.
- Avoid unnecessary trips where exposure to large groups is likely.
- Enjoy walking, hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities consistent with social distancing.
- Do not visit nursing homes, retirement centers, or long-term care facilities unless providing critical assistance.
- It would be wise for religious organizations to abide with these guidelines and look for other ways to fellowship and communicate their message.