LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — During his weekly COVID briefing on Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson acknowledged that Arkansas has gone over the 10% positivity rate once again.
Governor Hutchinson referencing the White House Coronavirus Task Force and it said that Arkansas is on the brink of overwhelming its hospital system if it does not begin to curb those numbers, he acknowledged that something should be done but without rolling back restrictions.
The Arkansas Department of Health said they don’t have any specific data that says any place or activity is a specific COVID hotspot.
“This would indicate that this is widespread community transmission.” said Dr. Jose Romero
The White House coronavirus task force report recommended that one thing Arkansas can do is roll back restaurant capacity back to 25-percent.
“If you put the restrictions back down to 1/3 you would be shutting down a whole bunch of businesses.” said Governor Hutchinson.
He believes the economic damage is too much considering there’s no data point specifically calling out restaurants in the numbers.
“You’re going to be putting a lot of them under underwater and you’re going to be putting a lot of people unemployed.”
Mike Moore with alcohol and beverage control says regulations and guidelines will now start to be more strictly enforced.
“Four months is a long time to be giving warnings and so I think what you’re going to see in the coming days as when we find people that are non-compliant there’s gonna be more accountability.” said Mike Moore ABC Director of Enforcement.
He did mention that since the end of July the ABC has done over 37-hundred inspections with a 93-percent compliance rate.
“Even a 7% of noncompliance can cause some huge problems when it comes to this COVID-19 disease.” said Mike Moore ABC Director of Enforcement.
Dr. Jose Romero also mentioned today that a majority of deaths are coming from nursing homes…despite that data point, governor Hutchinson will not roll back any of those visitation guidelines for nursing homes.
“I don’t think we want to go back to that but we do want to have it as carefully and safely as possible. We got some good restrictions in place for that purpose,” said Governor Hutchinson.
Governor Hutchinson also encouraged Arkansans to limit their gathering numbers this holiday season and even in the home you should wear a mask if distance cannot be maintained.