Preparation, Not Panic
The State Chamber/AIA is continuing to monitor closely the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and updating our members as needed. The severity of the illness or how many people will fall ill from COVID-19 is unknown at this time. But there is no reason to panic.
Instead, employers should be preparing now in order to be able to respond in flexible ways to varying levels of severity and be prepared to refine business response plans as needed. Plans should include actions to address reducing transmission among staff; protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications; maintaining business operations; and minimizing adverse effects on other businesses in your supply chain.
The Current Status of COVID-19 in Arkansas
Effective March 12, Arkansas has reported six presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. The patients are located in Saline, Jefferson, Pulaski and Grant counties.
Hutchinson said that schools in those counties will be closed until March 30. The Governor has also declared a public-health emergency in Arkansas. The state will soon be receiving $6.2 million in emergency funding for virus response recently approved by Congress.
Guidance and Resources on the State Level
If you have concerns that you might have COVID-19 or been exposed to it, UAMS Health has a HealthNow website where you can get free online screening here.
The Arkansas Department of Health has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about the novel coronavirus. During normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136. To access the ADH COVID-19 site, click here.
Arkansas State Chamber member Dover Dixon Horne PLLC Attorneys at Law has developed an article titled “Employers and Coronavirus,” which provides guidance for businesses on COVID-19 here.
Guidance and Resources on the Federal Level
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the White House Coronavirus Task Force has a full menu of guidance and advice for dealing with COVID-19 here.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recently issued the document “Guidance for Employers To Plan and Respond to Coronavirus (COVID 19)”: To access that, click here.
The National Association of Manufacturers recently released a document titled “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” to help manufacturers during the coronavirus crisis here.
State Chamber/AIA COVID-19 Resources and Guidance Page
The State Chamber/AIA has also set up a dedicated page on our website that is being regularly updated, which includes additional information on dealing with COVID-19 here.
If you have questions or need additional assistance, let us know.