Hutchinson: State parks to reopen for in-state RV campers on Friday

Ark. Gov. Hutchinson and ADH update 4/28

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, announced Monday that Arkansas has reached more than 3,100 positive COVID-19 cases, with 52 deaths statewide.

When it comes to testing, Governor Hutchinson said 2% of the state’s population will be tested by May.

Governor Hutchinson said an announcement will happen Wednesday on when restrictions can start to be lifted on restaurants.

As of May 1, state parks will open to Arkansas residents for RV camping.

When it comes to making sure campers are from Arkansas, rangers will be able monitor who is in the park. Hutchinson said if a ranger were to see an out-of-state vehicle tag, the ranger will be able to have a conversation with the camper about their residency.

By May 15, visitor information centers, retail, and exhibits will open to limited capacity. Cabins, lodges, and Rent-A-RV will also reopen on that day.

“You may ask why is it May 15? Well, we want to make sure the park personnel has adequate opportunity to have the protective equipment that they need, we get our employees back and trained in the proper fashion,” Hutchinson said.

As of now, high-use trails at some of the state parks will remain closed, but officials will continue to reassess the situation as the state moves forward.

87 inmates and 12 staff members have been infected by COVID-19 at the Federal Correctional Institute in Forrest City.

At the Arkansas Department of Corrections Cummins Unit, 860 inmates and 51 staff have been infected with the virus.

Governor Hutchinson said in the last day, a staff member at the Ester Unit tested positive for COVID-19, but so far no inmates at that unit.

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