Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Coronavirus in Ark.: Mask mandate in effect, Arkansas receives $8.2M to help pay utility bills

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The death toll from coronavirus in Arkansas stands at 363 with 33,927 positive cases in the state, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in a July 20 news conference. The governor was joined by Interim Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero as they released the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 in the state. Additional details they provided:

As of Monday afternoon, there are 33,927 total COVID-19 cases and 363 deaths in the state, according to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Top counties with more than 20 active cases:

Washington County – 94

Pulaski County –  60

Benton County –  57

Craighead County – 28

Mississippi County – 26

Pope County – 26

Sebastian County – 25

Arkansas and Faulkner Counties – 21

Garland and Miller Counties – 24

As a state, Arkansas ranks third in the nation for people in the hospital per 100,000 people.

The governor announced that he has authorized National Guard assistance bringing in 10 National Guardsmen who will support the case management work for Washington Regional Medical Center for the next 30 days.

Eighteen new patients are in the hospital for COVID-19 related issues making the total 471.

26,397 of the positive cases have recovered.

Arkansas has received $8.2 million to help people pay utility bills for people who are struggling due to COVID-19.

State officials say with the federal funding, they are able to enhance the Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). There will be two allocations- $6.97 million will go to a supplemental crisis program, and $1.23 million will go to an air conditioning program. The programs will help low-income Arkansans who have larger than normal past due balances on their electric and natural gas bills or who have depleted their supply of winter fuel, such as propane or wood.

State officials say the enhanced LIHEAP will differ from the traditional program. The traditional program is utility-focused only. The enhanced program will also focus on the winter heating fuels.

The maximum has increased from $500 per household to $1,500 per household.

State officials say applicants can submit a past due notice instead of a shut off notice.

For the air conditioner program, the applicant must be eligible based on income and either has someone in their household who is elderly, has a disability, a child under the age of five or has a medical condition that requires air. The household could have their central air unit cleaned or repaired or receive an window unit if the cleaning or repair is not possible.

The programs are expected to launch July 27.

For more information, click here.

The statewide face covering mandate is now in place.

Watch the live stream here.

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