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Gov. Hutchinson releases winter strategy to combat COVID-19 in Arkansas

State officials have released a winter strategy to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Arkansas.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Asa Hutchinson discussed the state's plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic this upcoming winter in Arkansas.

The governor said it is a layered strategy, releasing a statement saying, "As we mitigate the risk by each part of the strategy, we realize that every layer builds on the other layers and it takes us all working together to be successful."

Part of the strategy is an individual responsibility. The starting point for individual responsibility is social distancing and compact crowd avoidance.

Another point made is to make sure everyone in the state is complying with the mask mandate. The governor says a mask alone will not necessarily combat the virus, but when implemented with social distancing and other strategies, it all works together.

The governor and health officials also recommend Arkansans get a flu shot this year.

Another layer to the COVID-19 winter strategy is support from health officials, schools and the community.

This includes a continuation of testing more than 6% of the state's population each month, contact tracing and quarantining. It also will rely on COVID-19 safety compliance checks from businesses and individuals around the state.

Gov. Hutchinson mentioned the state will provide a marketing campaign to remind residents of the importance of each layer of the strategy. He says the state will continue to work on a vaccine distribution plan when one becomes available.

Arkansas Health Secretary, Dr. Jose Romero suggests limiting family gatherings to at least 10 people, recommended immediate family members, during the upcoming holidays but says no mandates will be put into place. He also said they do not recommend traveling for the holidays at this time.

Top local counties with more than 20 new cases Tuesday (Nov. 3):

  • Benton County: 96
  • Washington County: 77
  • Sebastian County: 37
  • Crawford County: 22

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