Governor’s Working Group To Expand COVID-19 Testing Capacity Meets for the First Time

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has created the Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Working Group to make recommendations to expand the capacity and performance of COVID-19 testing in the state, the Governor announced at a news conference Tuesday. The working group met virtually for the first time at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Arkansas’s ability to conduct adequate diagnostic and surveillance testing will affect the state’s public-health strategy and economic-recovery efforts after Arkansas reaches its peak number of COVID-19 cases,” Governor Hutchinson said. “As we prepare to shift Arkansas’s economy out of low gear, it is important for us to have more comprehensive information about the spread of COVID-19 in the state.”

The working group will include senior representatives of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Baptist Health of Arkansas, and Arkansas Children’s. These leaders will examine the state’s supply of testing equipment and make recommendations to maintain adequate testing capabilities and conduct surveillance testing across the state.

Members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Working Group are:

  • Dr. Nathaniel Smith, ADH
  • Dr. Glen Baker, ADH
  • Dr. Naveen Patil, ADH
  • Dr. Katie Seely, ADH
  • Dr. Jennifer Hunt, UAMS
  • Dr. Jose Romero, ADH, UAMS, Arkansas Children’s
  • Dr. Atul Kothari, ADH, UAMS
  • Mr. Robin Mitchell, Arkansas Children’s
  • Dr. Bobby Boyanton, Arkansas Children’s 

Read Executive Order 20-21 HERE

If you are not a member of the media and have questions or concerns about COVID-19, you can contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847 or visit ar.gov/covid.

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