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Gov. Hutchinson explains why he hasn't issued 'stay at home' order for Arkansas yet

Gov. Asa Hutchinson also claimed that stay at home orders in other states are an "illusion" due to the added exemptions. He called it a "recipe for confusion."

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed the public's concern for a 'stay at home' order.

The governor discussed the state's shut downs of gyms, salons, parks, and more. He said these measure exceed some of the measures that have been taken in other states.

Hutchinson brought out a graph during the conference, showing the state's projected positive COVID-19 cases from two weeks ago. Compared to two weeks ago, Arkansas has more than 400 less positive COVID-19 cases now than what was originally projected.

RELATED: Here's when the COVID-19 pandemic could peak in Arkansas

"The strategy of a targeted response to this emergency virus situation in Arkansas is proven to be successful in bending the curve, lowering the apex of the curve, and reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas," Hutchinson explained.

The governor then showed a map of all the states in the U.S. that have a 'stay at home' order. Arkansas is in the middle, with no order in place. He said the map is not helpful to Arkansans because it gives an unrealistic expectation.

"It gives the impression that we're not really doing as much as we should be in Arkansas, when you can see from the targeted response that we're doing a great deal and it has been having some success," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson went on to say that many of the states who have a shelter in place are "in essence, an illusion to a true 'stay at home' order."

He said that in California, which is under a 'stay at home order,' millions still get up and go to work every morning. If he issued an order for Arkansas, he said more than 700,000 would get up and go to work and individuals would still go to grocery stores and places like Lowe's because those are the types of places that are being exempted by the 'stay at home' orders.

He said an order like this for Arkansas would also put around 200,000 out of jobs.

RELATED: Real-time updates: 643 positive COVID-19 cases throughout Arkansas, 12 total deaths

"The question is, 'Are you accomplishing anything by doing that order?'" he said. "And that's what we measure every day."

Governor Hutchinson said that if the state's measurements show that more needs to be done for the state, more will be done. 

Key facts to know:

  • 643 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 8,523 total tests
  • 7,880 negative test results
  • 12 reported deaths
  • 47 recoveries
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

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