St. Bernards Healthcare CEO joins governor’s COVID-19 Winter Task Force

Gov. Hutchinson has delegated healthcare administrators across the state, including one here in Northeast Arkansas to make up the COVID-19 Winter Taskforce.

St. Bernards Healthcare CEO joins governor’s COVID-19 Winter Task Force
Hospital prepares for surge in patients. (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Chris Barber, President & CEO of St. Bernards Healthcare, will be joining the governor’s COVID-19 Winter Task Force.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the new task force in a press conference Friday afternoon.

Barber says that he is pleased that Northeast Arkansas will have a “seat at the table” in addressing hospitalizations in the state in the upcoming months, with the region being second in leading the number of hospitalizations in the state.

As the holidays are approaching, Barber stated that healthcare workers are growing weary with the heavy caseloads, so people should be more mindful of the guidelines.

“Our team has been doing a great job for the last eight months battling this pandemic, but folks are tired. We’ve got to keep our healthcare workers healthy and safe as we move into the upcoming winter months,” said Barber.

According to Gov. Hutchinson, a shutdown is not part of the goal of the task force but rather seek other solutions to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

“I do want to give them the latitude to give me options and to discuss anything that they see needs to be done,” said the governor.

The first meeting for the Governor’s COVID-19 Winter Task Force will be held privately at 8 a.m. Monday via Zoom.

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