Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is extending the state's public health emergency for another 45 days, he announced at a news conference on Thursday.
“The public health emergency – I extended it and it’s going to expire tomorrow; I’m going to be extending it for another 45 days, which is absolutely necessary,” he said.
He also said there have been an additional 322 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 13,928. He added there are 11 new fatalities on Thursday, bringing the total to 208. Of the 11 new deaths, 10 people were age 65 and over.
Hutchinson highlighted a part of his executive order saying any restrictions put in place by cities and counties cannot be more restrictive than those put in place by the state.
“If a city rule is more restrictive than the state rule, then it’s pre-empted by the state rule,” he said.
The governor also said hospitals statewide are equipped to handle surges saying, “we do have in each of the hospitals, a surge plan. We have a statewide surge plan so if there’s any hospital that gets close to their limit on whether it’s ventilators or ICU units, then we have a plan to address that.”