LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero updated the public on the state’s response to the coronavirus, including the latest cases of COVID-19 and deaths.
Gov. Hutchinson starts the briefing by paying tribute to Officer Kevin Collins with the Pine Bluff Police Department killed in the line of duty on Monday.
Gov. Hutchinson gives remarks on President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnoses.
Gov. Hutchinson announces an update to long term care guidelines for nursing homes.
The revisions will make it easier for families to visit those in nursing homes under certain conditions that will be approved by the resident’s care provider.
Minimum visitation will be allowed if the resident needs to seek medical treatment, or they are dealing with mental health issues such as eating disorders and depression.
Expanded visitation will be allowed if a long-term care facility has not had a new positive COVID-19 case in 14 days, has adequate PPE for residents and staff, meets all staffing requirements, screens every person that enters the building, and restrict access to people who do not meet the screening criteria.
“This is a very, very important step that is necessary, that is a right thing to do, and we are very concerned about continued good health in out long-term care facilities,” said the governor.
Governor Asa Hutchinson emphasized the importance of screening and taking extra precautions to reduce the number of cases.
Gov. Hutchinson reveals guidance for Halloween.
Gov. Hutchinson reports 532 new COVID-19 cases.
A new high reached for hospitalizations at 529.
Northeast Arkansas continues to lead the state in growth rate by region at 6.9%.
Dr. Romero reports the top counties in the state with new cases.
Dr. Romero says Arkansas is making progress according to the White House COVID report.
Gov. Hutchinson responds to the deaths of those in education. Include the death of a Harrisburg teacher.
Dr. Ivey Pfeffer introduced a new initiative to support school districts called Engage Arkansas.
The program is designed to help students who are learning in person or virtually.
Pfeffer implemented 6 colleges in the state as Offices of Education Renewal Zones (ERZ) to bridge public schools, higher education, and education service cooperatives.
The partnership also includes the Department of Human Services who will provide support to families.
Dr. Pfeffer says that the program will help districts focus more on keeping students engaged in their learning during the pandemic.
“We want to make sure that districts have the proper supports to help with students, who might become disengaged or who might be struggling with this new type of learning," Dr. Pfeffer said in Tuesday’s press conference.
Students will have access to outreach counselors, academic coaching, telehealth and technical support.
Gov. Hutchinson was asked whether the Arkansas GOP was taking COVID-19 seriously.