ARKANSAS (KAIT/KARK) - Nearly 300 Arkansas physicians wrote an open letter to the governor Sunday, asking for more COVID-19 restrictions amid the rising case numbers.
According to content partner KARK in Little Rock, 270 doctors from around the state warned of the strain on the state’s health care system.
They mention ICU’s are already full of COVID-19 patients, saying “Our hospitals are filling up to the brim, and the virus is continuing to spread unchecked in our communities, meaning that the worst is approaching.
In the letter, the doctors ask Gov. Hutchinson to use his power as governor to implement the following:
- Enforce a universal mask mandate
- Close all bars and gyms, and limit restaurants to takeout only
- And limit indoor gatherings to less than 10 people.
They also ask Gov. Hutchinson to listen to Arkansas Department of Health advice.
The doctors ended the letter by saying “we are at a crucial point in this pandemic. Arkansas needs strong leadership now more than ever,” and asking Hutchinson to take necessary steps to save lives even if they are unpopular.
Gov. Hutchinson responded with a letter to those physicians on Wednesday.
His letter lists what his administration has done since the start of the pandemic in March.
That includes the current limit of 66% capacity at bars, restaurants, and businesses that can hold more than 10 people.
Gov. Hutchinson’s letter also mentions the social distancing requirements at gyms and other businesses, and the mandate requiring masks where social distancing isn’t possible.
His letter comes a day after the White House task force’s suggestions for the state to limit restaurants to 25% capacity.
Gov. Hutchinson saying in Tuesday’s weekly address that he was against adding the stricter measure.
The White House report stated COVID-19 is worsening in our state and projected 1,000 more deaths in Arkansas by Christmas if the state can’t break the current trend.