Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
Breaking News
Pipeline explosion forces evacuations
Show Less
Close Alert

What Arkansans can expect as the state works to lift restrictions in May

While the state has a target date of May 4 to begin lifting some restrictions placed due to COVID-19, what does that date actually mean? (KATV photo)
While the state has a target date of May 4 to begin lifting some restrictions placed due to COVID-19, what does that date actually mean? (KATV photo)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Monday that some restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 outbreak will be lifted starting on May 4. Arkansans are now asking what that means for them, their families and in Arkansas.

First, social distancing and wearing masks will continue to be recommended, Hutchinson said.

“I know that Dr. Smith and his team are first looking at the issue of elective surgery or elective procedures and so we hope that people will be able to make appointments again for things they have put off,” he said. “We also want to look to see what other restrictions can be lifted in terms of allowing people to work and make a living, but all of the social restrictions and distancing guidelines that we put into place will still be there."

Arkansas Department of Health’s Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, the state epidemiologist, is part of the governor’s medical advisory committee to reopen the state. She said that while some restrictions will be lifted, Arkansans should continue preparing for change.

“We are hopeful that changes will be made that will be beneficial both to people and their jobs and to the economy, but it's too soon for me to say anything specific about them,” Dillaha said. “We need to be ready to pull those back if we need to implement some restrictions again if the cases continue to rise as a result of removing the restrictions."

Hutchinson shared her sentiments in a news conference. He said the state will pull back on lifting restrictions if it doesn’t go over well and cases are rising.

Both the governor and Dillaha reminded Arkansans they must continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks—but how long could social distancing last?

“When we get to the point where the majority—or a certain proportion of our population—is immune, then some of those measure will no longer be needed because we will have herd immunity,” said Dillaha. “Some of the tests that will be available to use in the near future we will be able to tell who has been infected with it in the past so we will have an idea of the proportion of the population that's immune."

As far as businesses reopening, or bringing some people back to work, Dillaha said Arkansans should continue practicing social distancing in the work place. Most businesses should have already had plans in place she said, or they need to make adjustments to prevent the spread of the virus.

Loading ...