Help available for businesses impacted by coronavirus
National and local resources are available to help businesses navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal resources focus on small businesses. In addition, the Arkansas state economic development agency has posted information and links to resources available for businesses and employees.
Howard County Curfew Is In Place
The following is from the office of Howard County judge Kevin Smith:
IN THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY JUDGE OF HOWARD COUNTY, ARKANSAS
IN THE MATTER OF RESTRICTED ACCESS TO COUNTY FACILITIES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC
WHEREAS, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory illness that can spread among humans through respiratory transmission and presents with symptoms similar to those of influenza;
WHEREAS, in late 2019, a new and signiﬁcant outbreak of COVID-l9 emerged in China; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared COVID-l9 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern; and
WHEREAS, the CDC currently recommends mitigation measures in communities with COVID—19 cases, including staying at home when sick, keeping away from others who are sick and staying at home when a household member is sick with respiratory disease symptoms or if instructed to do so by public health ofﬁcials or a health care provider; and
WHEREAS, Howard County must ensure, as best as can be reasonably accomplished, the health and safety of county employee and the public served by Howard County, and to provide for continued services by Howard County to our public. This order is entered following consultation with health professionals and ofﬁcials knowledgeable in the current state of affairs preventative medicine.
NOW, THEREFORE, I KEVIN SMITH, as Howard County Judge, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Amendment 55, Section 3 of the Arkansas constitution, as the chief executive of Howard County and the custodian of county property, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive order to take effect Friday, March 20, 2020 at 4:30 p.m., and last until April 17, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.:
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to loiter or remain in or upon any street, alley or public place in the county between the hours of 8:30 pm. and 6:00 am.
The following activities shall be exempt from the curfew requirements of this division where the minor is:
(1) Accompanied by his parent, guardian or any other person 21 years of age or older who is authorized by a parent as the caretaker for the minor;
(2) On an errand, without any detour or stop, at the direction of his parent, guardian or caretaker;
(3) In a vehicle involved in interstate travel;
(4) Engaged in a certain employment activity, or going to or from employment, without any detour or stop;
(5) Involved in an emergency;
(6) In attendance at an ofﬁcial school, religious or other recreational activity sponsored by the city, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to or from such an activity, without any detour or stop, and supervised by adults; or
(7) Exercising First Amendment rights, including free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly.
Before taking any enforcement action under this section, any Howard County Sheriff Deputy shall ask the apparent offender’s age and reason for being in the public place. The Deputy shall not issue a citation on the ﬁrst offense. If a second offense occurs, the Deputy shall not issue a citation or take further action under this section unless the Deputy reasonably believes an offense has occurred, and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no exception to the Order is present.
It shall be unlawful for any parent, guardian or other person having the legal care and custody of any minor under the age of 18 years to allow or permit any such child, ward or other person under such age, while in his legal custody, to loiter or remain, unaccompanied, upon any of the streets, alleys or other public places in the county between the hours of 8:30 pm. and 6:00 am, unless there exists a reasonable necessity therefore.
DEFINITIONS The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Harbor includes the tacit or express permission to a child by the owner, proprietor or occupant, or any of their agents, to remain on or about the premises for a time longer than reasonably necessary for the child to transact such business as he may have on or about such premises.
Loiter includes aimlessly driving or riding in or on any automobile, motorcycle, motor- driven cycle or any other motor-driven vehicle on the streets, alleys, highways or public thoroughfares of the city without an immediate and predetermined destination.
Other public places includes privately owned places of business, and the premises thereof, serving the public or open to the public, such as restaurants, laundromats, gas stations, theaters and other places of public amusement.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Letter to the Community
From Howard Memorial Hospital
To the communities we serve:
Our hospital follows the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended infection prevention and control practices, including minimizing the chance for exposures, placing any patient with known or suspected COVID-19 in a separate location, providing personal protective equipment to health care personnel (gloves, gowns, masks and goggles), and educating staff, patients and the community on proper hand hygiene.
Our hospital is educating the public that the best way to prevent infection is by following the same preventive measures used during the normal cold and flu season. Wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home from work or school if you are sick to prevent the spread of infection.
Our hospital participates in emergency preparedness training year-round and is prepared to handle an influx of patients, should that occur. Hospitals communicate and coordinate directly with each other regularly and, in times of large-scale disasters.
Since, last week, Howard Memorial Hospital has been meeting internally and with local officials to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and community. Here are the things that we have in place at this time to address COVID-19:
- Screening everyone that enters into the facility via the ER and Main Lobby by asking three questions and obtaining a temperature. If a patient meets criteria for COVID-19, the patient is escorted outside to a separate area for medical screening exam.
- Using testing guidelines from the Health Department in Little Rock along with our private reference labs.
- All area ambulance services have been asked to screen patients over the phone before going into the home and transporting to the hospital and make the hospital aware of symptoms and screening results so proper precautions can be made prior to the patient arriving to the Emergency Department.
- Patients with respiratory symptoms have a mask placed and our staff will utilize the appropriate personal protective equipment before interacting with the patient.
- Our main lobby entrance is closed at 5:30pm Monday through Friday and reopens at 7am. On weekends, everyone must enter through the Emergency Department entrance. Staff are located in these areas to conduct screenings of everyone entering the facility.
- If we have a confirmed case in our area (Southwest Arkansas or Texarkana) we will move to the next stage for a much more aggressive lockdown of the facility.
As always, Howard Memorial Hospital is here for your healthcare needs. We continue to be prepared for any emergency, large or small. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Howard Memorial Hospital
Administration and Staff
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