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Posted on: April 22, 2020

Governor Hutchinson 4/22/2020 Press Conference- Information about Target Dates

Governor Hutchinson Press Conference Update graphic

Data/information from Gov Hutchinson: 

  • As a State we are addressing continuing health and economic needs in Arkansas 

  • 2227 cases yesterday 2276 cases today 

  • 49 new cases 

  • 97 hospitalizations 

  • 42 deaths (43 yesterday, a Missouri resident counted yesterday) 

  • April 20- huge spike in new cases- Cummins Prison (over 300 cases that day) 

  • Trendline continues down for new cases of those not in a congregate setting 

Important announcements: 

Indicated that May 4 was the TARGET DATE for lifting some restrictions if we need some needed goals 

Elective procedures restriction is being lifted effective April 27 (earlier than expected) but with our number of hospitalizations and limited spread we feel comfortable putting thing into place 

Hospitals will have requirements to meet in order to do these procedures 

TIMELINE for future decisions that lead up to May 4: 

May 4 is the TARGET for Arkansas to lift some restrictions if we continue to make progress on reducing community spread of COVID-19. 

The below decision announcements will indicate whether a May 4 opening will be allowed and any applicable restrictive guidelines.  

  • April 29: announcement on restaurant decision 

  • April 30: announcement on gyms decision 

  • May 1: beauty and barber salons decision 

  • May 4: Places of worship and larger venues 


Dr. Smith- Dpt. of Health 

  • Continue to use a data driven approach 

  • Directive: elective procedures- still finalizing some language. Will not be effective until Monday.  Will start will day surgery, healthy patients- cannot have any symptoms. Encourage hospitals to start slow, ensure they have enough supplies of PPE 

  • Will have to test these patients of COVID-19 within 48 hours 

  • 2276 total cases- 1,371 active cases 

  • 23 on ventilator 

  • 863 recovered, up 54 from yesterday 

  • 262 health care workers, 148 have recovered 

  • Increase of cases associated with nursing homes 

  • 170 cases in nursing homes, 31 facilities 

  • 681 inmates in Cummins Prison, 14 staff 

  • Decided to test additional barracks. Could have additional cases added to total and testing additional staff  

  • Providing guidance to bring back different areas, will do it in a way that is thoughtful, careful and done in time with what we’re seeing in our numbers.  

  • Continue to practice physical distancing and measures which have helped up get to where we are.  


Gov Hutchinson: 

  • Economic taskforce led by Steuart Walton 

  • Has been in coordination with neighboring governors, but will act independently based on our data 

  • In Phase 1 we are still discouraging discretionary travel 

  • National capacity for testing is increasing, turnaround time has become more effective 

  • Larger venues are going to be a future decision- not a phase 1 decision 

  • Guidelines in place that apply to places of worship including not gatherings of 10 or more.  

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