Arkansas will be moving into Phase II of the reopening process, starting Monday, June 15.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that the entire state will be moving into Phase II at the same time. Previously, Hutchinson discussed the possibility of taking a regional approach to the Phase II reopening but ultimately declined to take that approach.
“Based upon that analysis and that data and that experience, the conclusion is that the state is best served moving together even though we have various regions with a current spike in cases,” he said.
Despite the reopening, Hutchinson conceded that Arkansas continues to face a significant number of COVID-19 cases with a rising number of active cases.
“This means that we continue to fight the virus, we continue to take it seriously, and we understand its seriousness as reflected by the data we see today,” he said.
“We are still in the heart of the woods. We are not out of the woods. We are still in the heart of the woods when it comes to this healthcare emergency.”
Northwest Arkansas is one of the epicenters of COVID-19 spread for Arkansas currently, with outbreaks occurring in the area. There will be surge efforts in Northwest Arkansas with Hutchinson focusing on Benton and Washington counties. According to Hutchinson, the state will be providing additional support, which will consist of more testing, tracing and other public health support resources.