Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued two executive orders to allow healthcare workers to file for workers’ compensation and to protect them from lawsuits.
On Tuesday, Hutchinson announced these two orders in an effort to compensate for the hazardous environment healthcare professionals are in.
As of Tuesday, Arkansas had 1,498 positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, 1,024 active cases, 81 hospitalizations and 32 deaths.
Hutchinson gave an update on the two prisons with cases of COVID-19. There were no new cases in either location.
The Forrest City Federal Prison is under the control of the federal government and its resources. Hutchinson stated that he was on a call with Attorney General William Barr for an update.
Dexter Payne, director of Arkansas Department of Corrections, said they are providing the “safest environment possible” for the inmates. In this vein, Payne said they were attempting to prevent the spread of the virus in Cummins Correctional Facility.
Hutchinson showed several graphs to demonstrate Arkansas’ standing among the virus hotspots and states in the southeast region.
They showed Arkansas experiencing a steady rise in both cases and hospitalizations. However, the hospitalizations appeared to be reaching a plateau.
As of Tuesday, Arkansas was near the bottom of the number of cases per 100,000 residents. Alternatively, the state was in the mid-range of tests per 10,000 residents. In the final graph, Arkansas had the lowest death per 100,000 at 0.99.
In an effort to discourage out-of-state travelers, both mobile and permanent message boards will display messages noting the prohibition of overnight recreational stays.
These signs will attempt to support the governor’s order for hotels to only house essential stays rather than recreational ones.
The governor noted that they had received notice of people coming from virus hotspots into Arkansas and staying in hotels. Hutchinson stated that these visitors only make the issue last longer by potentially bringing the virus to locations it was not previously present.
Hutchinson commented on the reopening of the economy by stating that he would make the decision “based on the best public health advice.”