Governor Hutchinson 2/16/2021 COVID Press Conference
First focused on weather- it will be an issue through at least Friday
Seeing the most severe weather event in our lifetimes. It is plaguing not only Arkansas, but the whole region. As a result of this weather emergency, we have extended the National Guard deployment through Friday. 100 guardsmen are deployed across the state. 26 Hum-vees and 2 ambulance crews are also deployed.
In terms of power approximately 20,000 Arkansans are still without power in the state. Montgomery County, Garland, and Little River Counties.
Southwest Power Pool has had controlled interruptions beginning at 7:00AM. By 10:15 all the SPP customers power had been restored. The system is operating below the reserve- energy conservation is critical.
We have been impacted by regional shortage of natural gas. Some wells are inoperable because of the freezing temperatures. This is affecting both commercial/industrial/residential.
Check road conditions at www.idrivearkansas.com You can call 501-569-2374 instead of using the app for information.
Vaccine report- we have received 658,000 doses, given 458,431 does, or 69.7% doses given. Currently in phase 1B (Arkansans aged 70+ and those in
Gave out 3422 doses even with the bad weather yesterday.
Federal program is still slow- given out 37.8% doses.
Case report: up 177 cases to 9,107 active cases and 313,525 total cases.
Completed 125,984 PCR tests and 48,868 antigen tests this month to date.
For the first time in a long time we are below 10,000 active cases
638 currently hospitalized
Large Indoor and Outdoor Event Directives:
Events can have up to 100 attendees without submitting a plan
School and community sports- directive updated to allow competitions with two or more teams. Plan must be submitted to and approved by ADH. Host venue is responsible for compliance.
White House is increasing national supply allocated to the states by 2.5 million doses. For Arkansas this will mean an additional 6,000-7,000 doses per week.
Cases are going down, but we still have the concern about the variant viruses. They are present in our county. We need to increase our physical mitigation- wear mask, wash hands, watch your distance.