COVID-19

Courtesy / Arkansas Department of Health

This week, two groups of people in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout are eligible to receive the vaccine. They include people over the age of 70, as well as educators and staff at K-12 schools, higher education and daycare facilities. While there's a lot to be excited about, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, with the Arkansas Department of Health, says the current demand for the vaccine outstrips supply as the state is receiving fewer than 38,000 doses per week.

Courtesy / Pack Rat Outdoor Center

The outdoor recreation industry saw a boom in interest as more people looked for safe activites to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now stores and service providers are preparing to meet more demand in 2021.

Courtesy / Baptist Health

As hospitalizations for COVID-19 throughout Arkansas remain at all time highs, the state and its healthcare partners are preparing for the continued upward trend in cases by opening two alternative care sites next week. The facilities, which will provide 124 additional beds, will be located in Little Rock and Van Buren and will mostly be used to care for low-acuity COVID-19 patients.

Courtesy / Boys & Girls Club of Benton County

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to restrict activites for kids, after school programs are slowly reopening and finding ways to give young students an outlet during uncertain times.

At Tuesday's weekly coronavirus response briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the state was on target to vaccinate the 180,000 eligible healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff in phase 1A of the rollout. Given that progress, he said the state would start making the COVID-19 vaccine available to some people in group 1B sooner than originally planned.

Courtesy / UAFS

More than 300 students attending the University of Arkansas Fort Smith had the option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Monday. A vaccination clinic was hosted on campus thanks to a partnership between Coleman Pharmacy and the UAFS College of Health Sciences.

Courtesy / Arkansas Legislature

On the first day of the Arkansas Legislative Session, Rep. Stephanie Flowers, a Democrat from Pine Bluff, suggested an update to a rule requiring face coverings. She proposed an amendment penalizing anyone who fails to wear one at all times by docking per diem payments. The amendment was rejected on a voice vote.

Courtesy / Maxine's Tap Room

The owners of more than 20 bars in Arkansas, including several in Fayetteville, have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s 11 p.m. curfew, which Governor Asa Hutchinson enacted back in November at the recommendation of the Winter COVID-19 Task Force. The original order was supposed to expire on Jan. 3, but late last month, the governor extended it an additional four weeks. Bar owners say they're being unfairly targeted without any supporting data from the Health Department.

Courtesy / Arkansas General Assembly

The 93rd Arkansas General Assembly convenes today with lawmakers, staff, lobbyists and the public required to observe strict COVID-19 protective procedures. Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Hickey, R-Texarkana, walks us through the new pandemic rules.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses. They're being used to treat COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms at medical centers around the state, including Mercy Northwest Arkansas in Rogers.

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