Post made by Nicole Clowney:
“We are still only seeing the calm before the storm.” – Gov. Hutchinson

As of today, Arkansas has had a total of 218 positive test results. Sadly, we have our first COVID-19 deaths, after 2 people passed away this morning.

11 are children
134 adults age 19-64
73 adults age 65 or older

14 are currently hospitalized and 6 are currently on ventilators. 2 have died (both in Central Arkansas, one person in their 50s, the other one older than 80. 10 of Arkansas’s positive cases are now completely recovered.

As we’re learning more, we’re seeing more evidence that smoking is a serious risk factor for COVID-19 deaths. If you are a smoker, please consider this emerging evidence carefully.

Today, we received 24 pallets of PPE this morning from the national strategic stockpile. This includes 27,800 N95 masks.
Moreover, our state’s procurement team has ordered 1,000,000 units (combination of masks, aprons, gloves, etc…) that are scheduled to arrive this morning.
This will cover us for the next 60 days at our current usage rate (which will, of course, increase over the coming weeks). Fortunately, we have more time to plan than other states have had, so we have time to build our state’s stockpile on beds and ventilators that we will surely need in the future.

–Budget and Special Session
We will convene as a General Assembly on Thursday to make the needed budget adjustments discussed in yesterday’s update. We will, of course, conduct this session in a way that will minimize our individual health risks as much as possible, while still doing the business of the state: allocating our state’s budget in a way that maximizes the ability of these agencies to protect public health and welfare.

–Contact Trails
Many of you have asked about contact trails. We do not trace contact trails in Arkansas, because we should not be lulled into a false sense of security. We need to consider that any public space is a place where people can become infected. We have to be careful not to make ANY nonessential trips outside of our homes.

One more word on the dangerous demand for this drug. Dr. Smith noted that even a single adult tablet is enough to cause a fatal dose in children aged 4 and under. Do not use this medication to protect yourself from COVID-19. The costs aren’t worth it.

Finally, I want to close this recap with a reminder to all Arkansans out there, particularly the young and healthy. I know that it feels lonely to sit at home all day. But this is more serious a public health crisis than anything we have seen in our lifetimes. Serious times call for serious sacrifice.  We have to sacrifice all the things that are dearest to us (yes, even time with one another) to help others who are in more danger, or who are not able to make the same sacrifices for whatever reason.

Make no mistake: This is hard. But it’s not optional. It is perfectly understandable to feel frustrated and bored and sad about this new (and temporary) normal. But please remember that all those sacrifices that you’re making? They are an EXTREME act of giving. And so, in addition to all those other feelings, please add pride. Because if you are following these most important social distancing guidelines, you should feel so proud that you are helping your community and literally saving lives.

Thank you Nicole and all our representative  that serve to help us all through these times.