Last week Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued a statewide mandate which requires masks to be worn in public, as the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Arkansas climbed to well over 33,000. The mandate went into effect on Monday, and calls for facial coverings for those 10 and older in situations where social-distancing cannot be observed—although there are a number of exemptions.
The mandate came on the heels of announcements by several large retailers, including Walmart, that they would require facial coverings for all customers and employees. It also gave law enforcement a tool to use in the fight against the coronavirus, as the mandate carries with it penalties ranging from a warning to $100 to $500 in fines.
As the debate rages on the numbers continue rise in Arkansas, with Monday's total positive tests climbing to 33,228 with 7,019 still active and 25,852 recovered. Meanwhile, the death toll has stabilized after a spike last week and remains at 357.
In Clay County the total number of positive tests climbed to 89 by Monday morning, with 16 of those still considered active. There have been 70 people who have recovered, and there have been three deaths of those who tested positive for the virus. Total number of those who have tested negative in the county stands at 1,871.
As they have for several months, national, state and regional health officials are still encouraging the public to be tested for the virus. They note this is especially important for those who have been exposed to a person who later tested positive. Testing is being conducted at the Clay County Health Units, and at the Piggott Community Hospital COVID-19 testing clinic, located at the clinic in Rector. The Clay County Health Unit in Piggott may be reached by calling 870 598-3390 and the Rector Clinic may be reached by calling 870 595-3596.
The state and county figures are updated daily, and may be found on the ADH website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov