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Gov. Hutchinson says no plans for shelter-in-place in Arkansas at this time

As of 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 165 COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As of 1 p.m. on Sunday, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 165 COVID-19 cases throughout the state.  

Key facts to know:

  • 118 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 154 people are under investigation
  • 567 negative test results
  • All public schools are closed until April 17
  • All restaurants and bars are directed to operate under carry-out and to-go options only "until further notice."

Watch Sunday, March 22 press conference:

Sunday, March 22:

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 165 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and 711 negative test results.

Saturday, March 21

1:50 p.m.

Governor Hutchinson reiterates there are no plans for shelter-in-place in Arkansas at this time.

1:40 p.m.

Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, says of the current 118 cases in Arkansas, of those are 9 children, 32 seniors who are ages 65+, and 77 are adults ages between 19-64. Ethnicity rates are 21% African-American and 68% white. There are 13 COVID-19 cases that are hospitalized and seven are in ICU.

Dr. Smith said personal protective equipment (PPE) is a major issue and is asking the public to conserve PPE. 

UAMS is increasing their testing capacity and will be able to run 240 daily tests starting Sunday, March 22, with that number increasing in days ahead. By next week, UAMS hopes to be able to process over 700 tests a day for COVID-19.  

1:30 p.m.

According to Gov. Hutchinson, from projections, Arkansas is likely to teach the peak of COVID-19 spread in 6-8 weeks. At the peak Arkansas is likely to see 1,000 patients hospitalized.

“We’re doing all we can as a state to flatten the peak, but we need your help,” the governor said.

1:00 p.m.:

As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 118 COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

Friday, March 20

9:00 p.m.:

The Little Rock Air Force Base announces its first positive COVID-19 case.

According to the release, an active-duty U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, is currently undergoing evaluation and treatment following a positive novel coronavirus test. The Airmen is believed to have contracted COVID-19 from recent travels.

Additionally, Col. John Schutte, the 19th Airlift Wing and Little Rock AFB installation commander declared a public health emergency for the base at 5 p.m. today due to the evolving threat of COVID-19.

The declaration of a public health emergency allows the base commander to take certain protective measures, such as restricting base movement and limiting services. The emergency order is in place for 30 days. The order can be terminated or extended as required.

 8:00 p.m.:

Governor Hutchinson has authorized the release of $30 million to the Department of Finance and Administration for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals and first responders as they test and treat COVID-19 patients.

The $30 million is being allocated from the Budget Stabilization Trust Fund to a Disaster Assistance Grant, which will go into the Governor's Disaster Fund.

DFA will find and purchase the PPE, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will distribute based upon priorities set by the Arkansas Department of Health. Local hospitals will participate in the bulk purchase and each will pay its portion of the overall purchase.

5:30 p.m.:

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas.

According to U.S Representative Steve Womack, Arkansas has received an "official disaster declaration" from the United States Small Business Administration.

"This designation, which [Governor Asa Hutchinson] and the Arkansas federal delegation advocated for, will help aid small businesses facing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19," Womack said in a tweet.

4:00 p.m.:

Arkansas saw the biggest one-day increase in positive COVID-19 cases as the number jumped from 62 to 96 on Friday.

The Arkansas Department of Health updated the numbers on its website, showing 34 new positive cases Friday with 203 people under investigation and 351 people who have tested negative for the coronavirus.

Arkansas confirmed its first positive coronavirus case on March 11 and has seen 95 new cases in nine days.

Of the 96 cases:

  • 8 are children
  • 26 are ages 65+ or older
  • 62 are ages 19-64

2:05 p.m.:

Oaklawn announces they’ve moved the Arkansas Derby to Saturday, May 2.

RELATED: Oaklawn announces Arkansas Derby will be moved to May 2

2:00 p.m.:

UAMS' Cam Patterson said they have more than enough ventilator capacity right now. Bigger question is making sure they're in the right place. He expects they will be moving them to places that have significant need.      

Johnny Key said Arkansas PBS will provide some specialized educational programming for students at home beginning right after spring break. The programming is for K-8.

Watch Friday, March 20 press conference:

1:50 p.m.:

Per Leslie Rutledge, $3 million program has been released to help small businesses get bridge loans.    

She also said the Department of Health and CDC are not making house calls. These are scams.

Gov. Hutchinson had a call with congressional delegation, senators, and asked them for help to get the Small Business Administration disaster declaration, which has been granted. 

1:40 p.m.:

The Department of Finance and Administration has advanced $30 million to help get advanced materials Arkansas needs for the future, such as personal protective equipment.  

Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, of the 96 cases, 8 are kids, 26 are adults 65 and older, 62 are age 19-64.  He said 71% of cases are of white ethnicity and 15% African-American.  

Johnny Key, Education Secretary of Arkansas said they would allow waivers for states if they can't test under the federal education act, per Trump Administration. They will cancel ACT Aspire for this spring, and seek that waiver.  

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said they has gotten 185 complaints on price gouging in Arkansas. They currently have 24 active investigations on price gouging.      

RELATED: Arkansas announces up to $10k fine for price gouging during coronavirus outbreak

1:30 p.m.:

Greene and Benton are among the new Arkansas counties where there are positive cases of coronavirus.

Gov. Hutchinson has no intent to further restrict or close business and industrial activities in Arkansas.  

1:20 p.m.: 

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 96 COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

At least three nursing homes across Arkansas have at least one positive COVID-19 cases, including at least 13 in one Little Rock nursing home.

RELATED: 13 positive COVID-19 cases in Little Rock nursing home, officials say

10:45 a.m.:

U.S. officials announced new restrictions on the Southern border Friday as they try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The U.S. and Mexico had been working on plans to limit travel across the border without disrupting trade. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration has decided to push the income tax filing date to July 15 from April 15.

Arkansas coronavirus hotlines: 

At total of 25 counties in Arkansas have at least one confirmed COVID-19 case, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The following counties have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19:

  • Benton County
  • Boone County
  • Bradley County
  • Clark County
  • Cleburne County
  • Cleveland County
  • Craighead County
  • Crittenden County
  • Desha County
  • Faulkner County
  • Garland County
  • Grant County
  • Greene County
  • Independence County
  • Jefferson County
  • Lincoln County
  • Pulaski County
  • Poinsette County
  • Polk County
  • Pope County
  • Saline County
  • Sebastian County
  • Searcy County
  • Sevier County
  • Van Buren County
  • Washington County

RELATED: Live coronavirus updates: Income tax filing deadline moved to July 15, new restrictions on US-Mexico travel expected

RELATED: UAMS announces no visitors allowed in medical center, outpatient clinics

RELATED: All schools in Arkansas closed until April 17 due to coronavirus concerns

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