Governor Hutchinson announced at today’s COVID-19 press conference that Arkansas will move to Phase 2 Monday, June 15. However, he states that we are "not out of the woods" and that people need to continue to do what they can to keep the transmission of the virus down by social distancing and wearing masks.
Governor Hutchinson COVID-19 Press Conference 6/10/2020
-Case report: yesterday 10,080- increase of 288 cases to 10,368.
-Of the new 288 cases: 60 in correctional facilities, 228 community cases
-3,087 active cases in the State- 2750 active community cases
-Up 8 to 181 hospitalizations
-165 deaths, up 4
-Of the 288 cases- Pulaski County (51), Washington County (44), Benton County (37)
-4,420 tests yesterday. 37907 so far to date in June.
-Top counties with the highest active community cases.
Sevier County - 174 active cases; total population- 17,193
Yell County- 94; total population- 21,573
Washington County - 708 active cases; total population- 228,529
Benton County- 535 active cases; total population- 258,980
Status of Phase 2:
-Reflecting: Arkansas from the beginning took a different path and did not shelter in place but did put some restrictions in place. On May 4, some restrictions started lifting to move into Phase I.
-Now all retail and businesses are open, with some restrictions on masks, spacing and capacity
-Growth rate is not tied to the lifting of restrictions because public health guidelines are being followed.
-Gating criteria is based on “one peak” vs. multiple smaller spikes that we have had.
-State is best served moving together, even though we are having some spikes.
-We are moving into Phase 2, but we are not out of the woods. Effective next Monday.
-Continuing emergency order that expires in mid-June for 45 days.
-Keep social distancing and wearing masks.
-Will be able to move to 2/3 capacity.
-Benton and Washington County- will provide additional support. More testing, tracing and public health support to those areas.
-Increased compliance inspections through the Health Department for NWA. CDC will send specialty team with bilingual staff to work with the Latinx communities.
-New directives will be given: gyms, restaurants, salons- everything that had a limitation on capacity can be moved from 1/3 to 2/3 as long as they can maintain the 6-foot social distancing.
-Question from a reporter: Are we seeing if this virus isn’t as communicable? Dr. Smith responded with, “it’s highly communicable in certain settings. Rapid increase in congregate settings. But if we do the things we can to mitigate the virus with social distancing and wearing of masks. “
-Schools- work in progress. Building a blended teaching environment with in-school and on-line learning. Secretary Key and Secretary Smith are working on it. Everyone is planning on being open.