Gov. Hutchinson to make virus-related announcement on Friday

Regional News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson will make “an announcement related to COVID-19” on Friday at 12 p.m., according to a media advisory issued by the governor’s office on Thursday.

Hutchinson did not provide details Thursday on specifics of the announcement. The Republican governor hosts his weekly COVID-19 updates on Tuesdays.

Hutchinson has repeatedly resisted calls to implement additional restrictions on businesses in Arkansas as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge statewide.

According to the Associated Press, the governor said Thursday in a discussion with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) and the Arkansas Municipal League that a lack of hospital space would the only thing that would trigger more stringent restrictions.

“The only thing that will trigger anything is that if we don’t have any hospital space to deal with,” Hutchinson said. “Then you have to start making some very, very difficult decisions that you don’t want to have to make.”

The ACHI discussion can be viewed in its entirety below:

As of Thursday, November 12, there were 805 patients hospitalized with the virus in Arkansas, including 116 people on ventilators.

About 26% of the state’s 9,144 hospital beds and nearly 8% of its 1,080 intensive care unit beds are available, according to an Associated Press review of Department of Health data.

Hutchinson’s announcement will be live-streamed on the governor’s YouTube page on Friday at noon: https://www.youtube.com/c/GovernorAsaHutchinson/live.

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