Governor Announces $10 Million Investment in Wifi Access Points for Students

Jul 27, 2020

Governor Asa Hutchinson started today's briefing by announcing 824 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hour monitoring period. There were nine more hospitalizations and seven more deaths related to the virus bringing those totals to 489 and 408, respectively. Nearly 6,000 tests were completed in the last monitoring period bringing the total for the month so far to about 164,000. There are 6,674 total active cases, of which 6,299 are in the community. Governor Hutchinson also announced $10 million from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund will be used to provide wifi access points for students across Arkansas. The funding will provide approximately 20,000 devices with up to 24 months of high-speed unlimited data. Arkansas Secretary of Education Johnny Key said a survey has been sent to school district to assess their readiness to reopen. He also announced about $1 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund will be used to purchase a stockpile of personal protective equipment to help schools that run out of PPE or have a supply chain issue. The governor also said the Health Department has ordered 200 machines that come with testing kits and supplies in an effort to expand the state's testing capacity. Meanwhile, the Arkansas Legislative Council will meet tomorrow to consider approving funding for resources to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state's Latinx and Marshallese communities. Lastly, Hutchinson offered his thoughts on the Peacemaker Festival in Fort Smith, which was held this weekend and was cited by Arkansas Beverage Control for not following Health Department guidelines like masking and social distancing. To watch the full briefing, click here.