TEXARKANA, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, updated the public at 1:30 p.m. on the state’s response to the coronavirus, including the latest cases of COVID-19 and deaths.
In the Texarkana Convention Center, Governor Hutchinson announced casinos can reopen with restricted limits on May 18. The governor said the casinos would only be allowed to operate at one-third capacity, and following social distancing guidelines.
As for when the state can move to Phase 2, “To enter Phase 2 of reopening, we must avoid a resurgence for 14 days,” Governor Hutchinson said.
Dr. Smith says the CDC Director was pleased with Arkansas’s response in a phone conversation. Dr. Smith said saving lives versus saving businesses is a “false choice,” according to Smith.
Dr. Smith said the state is likely to see spikes, but that’s why they’re building up contact tracing and testing capacity.
The state said that over 3,600 positive tests and 88 deaths have been reported in the state as of Thursday, May 7.
Only 710 of those cases are currently active.