While the state response to COVID-19 is one that is rapidly evolving, we do want to update you on the latest developments.

Late Friday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he will amend an executive order to allow expanded use of telemedicine in the state.

The Governor also announced he is providing additional resources to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) which will create 10 new lab positions and assist with much-needed help at the call center.

Additionally, the state has requested and will receive more personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel and first responders.

As of Friday afternoon, there is a total of 9 presumed positive cases in Arkansas. The patients with presumed positive test results reside in the central Arkansas region. Schools in Pulaski, Grant, Jefferson, and Saline counties are currently closed. Residents in these counties are being asked to limit large gatherings to 200 people or less.

On Monday, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) issued a public health directive to long-term care facilities across the state to question visitors about their travel over the past 14 days and to screen visitors and staff for signs of illness and fever.

All Arkansans are being asked to reconsider every trip out of state.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Medical Director for Outbreak Response at ADH, advised that if you are showing symptoms (including coughing, fever, and shortness of breath), you should consult your primary care provider instead of county health units or the hospital.

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

While ADH is currently limited in the number of tests they can administer, physicians can order tests from commercial labs.

UAMS has set up a coronavirus hotline for people who have questions or feel they may have symptoms. The number is 1-800-632-4502. UAMS HealthNow is also available for free COVID-19 screenings.

To access, go to UAMS HealthNow and click on “Begin Screening.”

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to patients of all ages across the state of Arkansas and is accessible from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer with video capabilities.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital announced that any family with children health questions related to COVID-19 can call 1-800-743-3616.

ADH has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about the novel coronavirus. During normal business hours (8:00 am – 4:30 pm), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847.

After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136.

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