Governor Asa Hutchinson provides weekly briefing on COVID-19, Trip to southern border

October 6, 2021

LITTLE ROCK – Today in a weekly briefing, Governor Asa Hutchinson talked about his recent trip to the border, meeting with Arkansas National Guard members, and the COVID-19 update for Wednesday.

Trip to the southern border

Governor Asa Hutchinson talked about his trip to McAllen, Texas, to get a tour of the border, and meet with the 11 National Guard members that were sent to help aid the efforts of keeping up security on the border.

Governor Hutchinson said that the soldiers who are there are serving a critical role doing mechanical work on vehicles used on the border, and that they are doing an incredible job.View a video highlighting Governor Hutchinson’s time spent in Texas HERE.

He noted in the briefing that 20 years ago when he worked on the border there were problems, but nothing like the problems they are seeing today with the lack of control and vulnerability they are dealing with along the southern border.

“There is a crisis at the border, it is a humanitarian crisis, a border security crisis, and a public health crisis all combined into one,” Governor Hutchinson said, “Ultimately there has to be policy changes that are made that were reversed this last January that puts the entire security of the border at risk.”

COVID-19 Wednesday updateAccording to the Arkansas Department of Health, the COVID-19 reports show that we are seeing a decline across many COVID-19 metrics including active cases and hospitalizations.

Last week, the Governor announced a new program for school districts to try in order to avoid quarantining students. The new pilot program “Test to Stay” where testing is allowed on a regular basis and if that test is negative you may remain in school.The schools participating in the pilot program are:

  • Russellville
  • Springdale
  • Bentonville 
  • Cabot

This will allow another option for schools to be able to keep kids in the classroom and in a safe way.

Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Education Johnny Key noted that the Arkansas Department of Health will monitor these four schools for two weeks and will then use that data to determine how to scale that for other school districts that choose to join the program.

View the slideshow used in the briefing including photos from the Governor’s trip to Texas and COVID-19 updates HERE. Video from today’s briefing can be found HERE.

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