Above is the Tuesday, March 24, 2020 live press conference from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and other state officials.
There are currently 218 cases (up by 44 since yesterday) and there have been 2 deaths. One death aged in their 50s, one over age 80. 10 patients have recovered.
Patients by age are: 11 are age 18 and under, 134 are ages 19-64, 73 are age 65 and over
14 are hospitalized, 6 are on ventilator, 38 are in nursing homes.
Governor stated, “We are still on the front end of this COVID-19 emergency in Arkansas.”
The state received 24 pallets from the federal strategic stockpile. That includes over 27,000 masks. 2 million more units have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive this weekend. This equipment covers about 60 days at the current rate of need.
Governor stated, “We do have time to plan. “We have time to build the stockpile for ventilators & respirators.”
The Legislature’s special session is set to begin Thursday. Governor stated, “it’s important to get everybody together to make the budget adjustments. We do not need to get together for a long period of time in a contentious debate.”
Dr Smith addressed funerals during this time, stating, “Funerals can be a time when COVID-19 can pass easily among family members. We need to think about ways to honor our loved ones in ways that don’t spread COVID-19.”
He also stressed that smoking is something that can make symptoms worse and asks people to consider stopping smoking now.
In response to questions about where exactly positive cases are located, Dr. Smith stated, “any public space is where people could potentially become infected.”
Finally he gave caution about Chloroquine, a drug available by prescription only. It is not proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 and according to Dr. Smith, “a single tablet can be fatal to a young child.”
Watch the video for more.