LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nathaniel Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, provided an update to media this afternoon regarding Arkansas’s COVID-19 response.
Watch the video above.
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that there are 404 total cases with 5 deaths in Arkansas total (2 new)
He said they are working on testing but the supply chain of reagents is backed up.
The state is continuing to fight through national shortages, backlogs, etc. on things needed for testing and PPE.
Over 30,000 people have filed for unemployment during this time.
U.S. Congressman French Hill talked about 2 historic bills passing that were signed into law at 12:30 a.m.
In Congress, the CARES Act passed which will push tax deadline back.
Bridge loans up to $250,000 will be in place for small businesses until full strength of the SBA loans are in place
Secretary Mike Preston said that small businesses needing cash up to $25,000 should contact AEDC
Rob Robinson with the Arkansas Bankers Association said Arkansas banks are open, safe and doing everything they can during this time.
This includes fee waivers and emergency loans.
They will offer payroll protection program with loan amounts up to $10 million or 2 and 1/2 times monthly payroll
This will include no more than 4% interest.
If you foresee financial trouble, reach out to your banker, they’re prepared for your call
Savings and checking accounts are safe and protected
Congressman French Hill talked about the CARES Act and what it includes.
Within 3 weeks the treasury will issue the $1200, plus $500 for dependents to people.
SSN is the only qualifier according to Congressman Hill
For those with concern over retirement, the bill allows money to be taken out of 401K w/o penalty.
Payroll taxes for businesses are deferred for 2020.
New employee benefit-businesses: can pay $5,250 to help the employee pay off student loan – no tax
Existing Small Business loan that is outstanding, The SBA may pay the interest and principle due for the next (6 months)
Baxter and Johnson county added to counties with active cases.
5 people with a confirmed case are pregnant
32 have diabetes.
17 on a ventilator.
24 have recovered
5 total deaths, 2 new deaths.