Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson held a news conference, winning with Dr. Nate Smith on Sunday, March 29th to update on the status of COVID-19 cases as well as the tornado aftermath in Jonesboro. VIDEO BELOW.
Hutchinson began the conference by stating that he had signed a declaration that Jonesboro is now a disaster area. This helps speed up the aid the city will get. He also stated that he will be on his way to the city after the press conference. He also reminded that he has declared today a day of prayer.
The governor stated that he is encouraged that the number of new cases is not accelerating in the same way they are for other cities, and attributes this to Arkansas either staying home or keeping the directive for social distance.
Hutchinson stated that the PPEs (personal protection equipment) are on the way, and that Arkansas companies JB Hunt trucking and FedEx Freight are serving as instrumental partners in the private sector to get the shipment here quicker.
Dr. Nate Smith of the Arkansas Department of Health listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients as follows:
- 426 cases
- 6 deaths
- 15 aged under 18
- 276 aged 19-64
- 135 aged 65 or over
- 43 currently hospitalized
- 43 currently in a nursing home
- 6 pregnant
- 36 diabetic
- 32 heart disease
- 21 chronic lung disease
- 10 chronic kidney disease
- 69 related to domestic travel
- 16 currently on a ventilator
- 28 recovered
- 67 healthcare workers
- 60% women
- 40% men
Dr. Smith also stressed that while he warned about meeting for funerals and weddings previously, he also wants people to take precautions to stay far apart while grocery shopping. He urged that the whole family does not need to go, and that shoppers should try to go at a time when it is off-peak if possible.