Governor’s COVID-19 update for Sunday: one new death, no new hospitalizations, more recoveries reported

At Sunday’s update on the COVID-19 situation in Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson first acknowledged Saturday’s tornado in Jonesboro. The governor said he would be going to Jonesboro directly following the briefing to see the damage first-hand, and he would be working with federal officials to ensure more help was on the way.

Health officials noted that any shelter put in place in Jonesboro needs to screen those entering about by asking about recent travels, taking temperatures of all who enter, and separating those with underlying conditions susceptible to coronavirus.

Regarding the latest COVID-19 news in Arkansas, the statewide death total on Sunday was up one, bringing the total overall deaths in Arkansas to 6. The victim was over the age of 65.

There have been no new hospitalizations reported in the state as of Sunday, and no new counties were added to the list of those with the coronavirus. The governor emphasized that while it was still early, COVID-19 cases are not accelerating as fast in Arkansas in comparison to other states, which he found “encouraging.”

This might be an indication that Arkansans are taking guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) seriously, according to officials. And Hutchinson said state residents need to “keep the course.”

In other news from Sunday’s briefing:

  • As of 2 p.m., the governor reported positive test cases have risen to 426 — up 23 from Saturday. And out of the 3,448 tested, negative tests are up to 3,027.
  • Sixty-seven of the 426 positive cases have been health care workers.
  • There have been 28 recoveries — that’s up four recoveries from Saturday’s statistics.
  • Hutchinson applauded J.B. Hunt and FedEx for their assistance in getting PPE orders to the state, and he is working with multiple sources for help securing more reagent to speed up testing across Arkansas. The governor did say he hoped to have positive news regarding testing at Monday’s briefing.
  • Health Director Dr. Nate Smith encouraged Arkansans to keep practicing the CDC guidelines, particularly when families go to the grocery store. Smith recommended that, if possible, limiting the number of family members going to shop at grocery stores, and keeping the recommended social distancing while in lines.

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The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Sen. James Sturch, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, and state Rep. Stu Smith. Download the free White River Now app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.

We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air, on White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the White River Now app on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ.

Layout 1Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZWhite River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.comBe sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

BREAKING: Tornado hits Jonesboro; Mall at Turtle Creek, other popular businesses reportedly hit, curfew at 7 p.m.

A tornado hit Jonesboro this afternoon as dangerous weather and storms spread across the region, including a tornado reported in Jackson County, as well.

KAIT8 reports Craighead County and Jonesboro have received damage, and search and rescue teams are currently on the scene at The Mall at Turtle Creek, which appears to have suffered substantial damage based on photos from social media and KAIT8.

The Jonesboro ABC affiliate also says that the intersection of Caraway Road and Race Street appears to have taken a direct hit. Vehicles are reported overturned, and a command center has been established, reportedly at the mall.

Other businesses and areas that have reportedly received damage include Cheddar’s Restaurant on Red Wolf, the Wildwood subdivision, Kirkland’s, and Best Buy, according to KAIT8.

And the city has ordered a curfew for Jonesboro beginning at 7 p.m.

To follow KAIT8’s live coverage of the situation, click here.

Forecasters with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., warned that a severe weather outbreak was possible for much of the central U.S. forecasters said tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds would be possible.

Mall Dillards damageAbove:  A screenshot of KAIT8’s live coverage of the tornado that hit Jonesboro this afternoon, showing damage at The Mall at Turtle Creek.

Layout 1Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZWhite River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.comBe sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Saturday’s update from Gov. Hutchinson: Two more deaths; 23 more positive; PPE and financial help on the way

At his Saturday afternoon COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and other officials presented updated stats from the virus’s effect on Arkansas; answered some questions regarding loans and unemployment benefits; and gave an update on his large personal protective equipment (PPE) order.

Deliveries of the recent order of PPE are starting to arrive. Twenty-five percent of one major order has already been delivered. Yet, the governor noted the state is dealing with limited testing capacity and is not able to test as many individuals as they would like. Hutchinson said he is working with federal officials on assistance on this issue. Those that will be prioritized for testing include: health care workers; those in long-term care facilities; those over 65; and those with underlying health conditions.

Gov. Hutchinson said there were 30,000 new applications for unemployment insurance this week alone. There were some lags in the system, but an upgrade was recently made, and personnel will also be increased to help with the additional volume. Individuals can call (844) 908-2178, Monday through Friday. Or they can access the state’s unemployment claims website here, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Officials also noted that those self-employed and those that wouldn’t qualify for certain unemployment benefits can now apply. Small business loans are also now available during this period to help with things such as payroll, business/rent mortgage, and utilities with a certain level of forgiveness available.

And the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) also announced they’ll be receiving applications for the Quick Action Loan Guaranty Program to address the immediate needs of businesses affected by the coronavirus. The program will be administered by the AEDC in partnership with Arkansas banks. For information on the program, email COVID19.businessinfo@arkansasedc.com. And Arkansas lenders participating in the program will be listed at arkansasedc.com/covid19.

In other news from Saturday’s briefing:

  • As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the governor reported two more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to five. Positive test cases have risen to 404 — up 23. And out of the 3,342 tested, negative tests are up to 2,938.
  • The two new deaths included two central Arkansans — an individual in their 70s and another in their 40s. State officials noted that at least one of them had an underlying condition.
  • According to Arkansas Department of Health stats, there have been 24 recoveries, up five recoveries from Friday’s ADH statistics.
  • Baxter and Johnson counties have reported their first positive cases.
  • Bank officials stressed that everyone’s money is safe and protected by the FDIC. Arkansas banks are open and are taking all the appropriate safety measures to continue to serve the public.
  • The governor said that there are businesses in Arkansas looking for workers. “Don’t give up on work in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said.
  • When asked about a “shelter-in-place” order, Gov. Hutchinson said he is still not wanting to put a halt to everything in the state.
  • The governor has also declared that March 29, 2020, be a day of prayer in the state due to COVID-19.
  • Hutchinson noted the state will beef up advertising and marketing to promote methods to help combat the spread coronavirus in Arkansas.
COVID-19 stats update 03282020Screenshot from the Arkansas Department of Health’s COVID-19 statewide stats as of this afternoon. The statistics do not yet include the two new additional deaths since yesterday.

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The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Sen. James Sturch, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, and state Rep. Stu Smith. Download the free White River Now app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.

We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air, online, and through the White River Now app on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ and on White River Now’s Facebook page.

Layout 1Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZWhite River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.comBe sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

 

 

 

 

U.S. Surpasses China With Most Coronavirus Cases Worldwide

The U.S. has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world, surpassing China, where the pandemic began. According to a running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. had 82,404 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. China had 81,782 and Italy had 80,589.

The news comes as the global infection count passed the half-a-million threshold Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins. U.S. deaths from the pandemic have now topped 1,000. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 23,000.

Amid a widespread shutdown caused by the virus, nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, almost five times the previous record set in 1982. Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession with restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines all losing profits due to restrictions and shutdowns.

United States Now Has the Most Cases of Coronavirus in the World

Via people.com
 

5.0-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes West Texas Area

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake rattled West Texas on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake epicenter was about 27 miles west of Mentone, Texas, and was located 3 miles below the surface. 

Residents of El Paso, about 175 miles west of the reported epicenter, felt the quake, which was originally rated at 4.7 magnitude. An emergency alert sent by USGS said there were no reports of damage or injuries in the El Paso region.

The U.S. Geological Survey said “earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the West.”

2 earthquakes rattle West Texas; largest is magnitude 5.0

Via abcnews.go.com
 

Texas Rangers LF Willie Calhoun Cleared To Workout After Broken Jaw

Texas Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun has been cleared to resume workouts during his recovery from a broken jaw. Calhoun tweeted Thursday that he was ready to start his daily workouts and baseball activities again.

The Texas outfielder had surgery March 9, a day after he was hit in the face by a fastball during a spring training game and suffered a broken jaw. A plate was inserted to stabilize the jaw.

Calhoun hit .269 with 21 homers in 83 games last season. His tweet came on the same day that was scheduled to be opening day before the coronavirus pandemic indefinitely pushed back the start the MLB season.

Calhoun cleared for activity after fastball to face

Via www.espn.com
 

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