Updated 10 PM:
Arkansas Total: 1,146
Active Patients: 841
Total Tested: 15,702
Updated 10 PM:
Clay County: 1 positive, 0 recoveries, 42 negative
Cleburne County: 69 positive, 32 recoveries, 99 negative, 4 deaths
Craighead County: 28 positive, 12 recoveries, 236 negative
Crittenden County: 77 positive, 8 recoveries, 400 negative, 2 death
Greene County: 6 positive, 3 recoveries, 267 negative
Independence County: 5 positive, 4 recoveries, 58 negative
Jackson County: 0 positive, 0 recoveries, 21 negative
Lawrence County: 9 positive, 1 recoveries, 87 negative, 1 death
Poinsett County: 6 positive, 4 recoveries, 27 negative
Mississippi County: 6 positive, 3 recoveries, 60 negative
Randolph County: 7 positive, 4 recoveries, 127 negative
Sharp County: 2 positive, 0 recoveries, 15 negative
Current as of 3 AM Friday
United States Total: 466,299
Global Total: 1,602,885
More parks equipment now closed to public
Jonesboro City Parks and Recreation Department is shuttering exercise equipment, picnic tables and restrooms as a next-step measure in the effort to prevent spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Craighead County.
Mayor Harold Perrin made the decision after discussions with Chief of Staff Mike Downing and Parks Director Danny Kapales.
“This is where Danny and his staff are seeing people gather, and there’s no way we can keep those places sanitized enough to prevent spread of this highly infectious disease,” Perrin said Wednesday.
With more than 20 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the county, a University of Texas study reports that Craighead is 99-percent likely to experience an outbreak of epidemic proportions in the coming weeks and months.
Perrin and City Medical Director Dr. Shane Speights of NYIT have expressed concern particularly about young people not heeding the warnings about social distancing. Most reports have shown that young people experience less severe symptoms when catching the virus, but a national report Wednesday revealed that more than 750 Americans under age 50 have already died with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Arkansas has more than 1,000 confirmed cases, but experts agree that the true number is significantly higher.
“Every doctor or expert I talk to tells me that many test kits have not been run, and I know of a few myself,” Perrin said. “If we are not able to get test results in a timely manner, it is really difficult to get a handle on just how many cases of COVID-19 we have in Jonesboro.”
As Jonesboro also continues to recover from the March 28 tornado, Perrin announced that the drop-off areas for tornado debris on Strawfloor Road will be closed Sunday, April 12, for the Easter holiday.
Press update from Arkansas governor
A 1:30 PM press conference at the Arkansas capitol is scheduled Thursday.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: Virtual Meetings Can Put Arkansans at Risk
Rutledge says, ‘ensure these necessary online meeting platforms take every action to protect users’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansans have adapted to a new environment where social distancing has become our new normal, and working from home brings a new set of challenges. Virtual meetings provide an essential mode of communication for work and school, but bad actors have also found opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in the virtual environment to steal or extort money from individuals and businesses.
“Having fought online predators, I know that they seek to exploit any weakness in our security, whether targeting children or businesses,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Attorney General, I’ve been working to ensure these necessary online meeting platforms take every action to protect users as we all do our best to get through this current crisis.”
Attorney General Rutledge has provided these tips for Arkansans using virtual platforms to connect with each other while social distancing.
- Utilize tools provided by the online meeting platform to restrict access to virtual meetings, classrooms and conference calls, including the use of passwords if possible;
- Be wary of suspicious emails inviting you to click links or join meetings or to download shared documents;
- Be cautious of advertisements or emails purporting to be from telework software vendors;
- Join online meetings only if prearranged with a person with whom a preexisting business or personal relationship exists;
- Select trusted and reputable network software vendors;
- Don’t give personally-identifiable information in online meeting venues.
For more information, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or oag@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.
Boozman Calls for Flexibility to Temporary Ag Worker Program to Protect Nation’s Food Supply
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) —a senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry—continued advocating for flexibility to agriculture employee programs in order to prevent a labor shortage and maintain an abundant supply of food and fiber in the United States.
In a letter to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Boozman and his fellow senators pushed for the development and implementation of guidance to provide flexibility in the H-2A program.
“Our nation is working around the clock to address the COVID-19 crisis, and our farmers are on the front lines of our country’s response,” the senators wrote. “We must ensure that our farmers can continue to rely on the H-2A program during this time.”
“Your agencies have equities in the functioning of our nation’s immigration system, and we urge you to adopt flexibilities that will protect our country’s food supply as you administer the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program during this crisis,” the senators continued.
Specifically, senators asked the departments to develop and implement guidance that will:
- Allow approved H-2A workers at the end of a contract period to extend their contracts if they are impacted by travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. government or by the government of their country of origin;
- Increase the maximum length of time for H-2A visas holders to stay in the United States to mitigate the effects of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services service center closures during the COVID-19 crisis; and
- Allow H-2A employers to share available workers among farms until the Federal government is able to resume normal operations.
The letter was led by Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and in addition to Boozman, signed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
The full letter is here
Lowered estimates suggest 60,000 deaths in America
Previous estimates indicated a minimum of 100,000 Americans would expire from COVID-19 related illnesses. New numbers released on Wednesday brought that down significantly, to 60,415. Read more from CNN Health.
This story will be updated throughout Thursday, April 9 with coronavirus related headlines. Check back or refresh for the latest information.