Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during his daily press conference today that the state of Arkansas is submitting an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for $300 in unemployment benefits per unemployed Arkansan.
This move was made to keep the State of Arkansas from putting premature strain on CARES Act financial support. Hutchinson cautioned, though, that this application has additional steps of approval to go through, including approval by FEMA, and checks will still be weeks away.
“I want to put Arkansas in the best position possible,” he said when explaining why the application was being submitted, stating that it would put Arkansas “ahead of the curve”.
Further, Hutchinson discussed the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’s model regarding COVID-19 rates, citing that while the information isn’t necessarily helpful for predicting the future in terms of infection, information regarding hospitalization can be used to make further analyses.
Additionally, the pandemic’s anticipated peak in Arkansas continues to be pushed back. Hutchinson cited this finding as proof that the state is successfully flattening the curve.
Hutchinson spoke about COVID inspections occurring in bars, restaurants, and clubs across Arkansas. 90 percent of the businesses inspected were found to be in compliance with COVID-19 public health regulations and guidelines. Of the 10 percent that were not in compliance, only 17 percent were issued an administrative citation.
Arkansas is up 729 cases in the last 24 hours, putting the state’s total at 54,216 active and past cases. Hospitalizations are up by seven, making the total 499. 114 patients are on ventilators, an increase by eight in the last 24 hours. Deaths in the last 24 hours have increased by 12, three of which were from nursing homes, totaling 631. As of today, there are 5,919 active cases, 961 of which are in correctional facilities. Arkansas has conducted 108,581 COVID-19 tests, which means that the state is exceeding the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of testing 2 percent of the population every month.