Day 36 – Wed. Apr. 16, 2020
Here are some Key Notes, Statistics, and Video for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s news update on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s news conference focused on:
- Hospitalizations are plateauing.
- The unemployment claims system is expanding.
- Arkansas businesses are taking advantage of PPP loans.
Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston was a guest speaker today. Dr. Nate Smith, State Secretary of Health also listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients (scroll to end).
Governor Hutchinson displayed charts showing that the amount of COVID-19 cases and hospitalization seem to be flattening. The governor reiterated that it is a deadly disease and we should not give up.
He stated that he will meet with the medical advisory board this afternoon and they will be recommending how the public should deal with life after the peak.
Dr. Nate Smith said he agrees that the hospitalizations seem to be stabilizing but he stated, “it’s way too early to do a victory lap,” and he asked the public to keep up the good work.
Mike Preston praised state employees dealing with the extreme amount of claims. According to the Governor, there have been a total of about 150,000 unemployment claims filed and processed since the week of March 7th
Preston announced a new website for unemployment claims – ARunemployment.com as well as extended hours on the phone hotline. They will begin taking calls at 6 a.m. and stop taking new calls at 4 p.m. so they can finish out by 6 p.m.
He also announced a new web page for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is for independent contractors, self-employed, agricultural workers, etc. to apply for a kind of unemployment compensation that is different from unemployment insurance. Self-employed workers typically do not pay into unemployment insurance, however they are also in need of relief. Those employees have been waiting for the state to open the filing capability to them, but the state has had to build a new system in order to process those claims.
Those seeking PUA can visit bit.ly/3e5qZWd or scan the QR code above to take you to the page where you type in your info for the state to contact you when the system is ready to process claims.
Preston said that 7,000 people have already submitted information to get notified when it goes live. He said they are also adding a chat box to the website so users can chat live by text and get their questions answered.
Preston stated that 14,803 Arkansas businesses have been approved for SBA loans in the paycheck Protection Program (PPP). He said this accounts for over $2.1 billion in loans for Arkansas. The SBA has allocated a total of $250 billion dollars for the entire United States.
Dr. Nate Smith, State Secretary of Health listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients below:
- 1620 total cases (up 51)
- 85 hospitalizations (up 2)
- 37 deaths (up 4)
- 2 under age 65 & had underlying conditions
- 2 over age 65 & had underlying conditions
- 1035 active cases (down 12)
- 21 on a ventilator (down 4)
- 548 recovered (up 59)
- 223 healthcare workers (up 8)
- 28 nursing homes involved (no change)
- 118 nursing home residents (up 15)
- 55 cases at Forrest City Federal Correctional Institute
- 46 inmates
- 9 staff
- 86 cases at LR Community Corrections
- 59 inmates
- 27 staff
- 46 cases at Cummins Correctional Facility
Statistics for Saline County as of the end of the day yesterday were:
- 36 Positive Tests
- 450 Negative Tests
- 13 Recovered Patients
- 1 Death
The link for the entire state is: https://adem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f533ac8a8b6040e5896b05b47b17a647