Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has repeatedly said he does not want to order Arkansans to “shelter in place” or “lockdown” citing the need to keep residents working and the economy moving, but today, as he promised in his briefing yesterday, the Arkansas Department of Health issued a Directive / Order limiting gatherings “occurring outside a single household or living unit” to consist of no more than 10 people who can stay 6 feet apart. There are some exceptions, as long as they can “maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six (6) feet to prevent the spread of this virus”. The directive, which can be read below, also says that “The Secretary of Health reserves the right to exercise his authority to prevent the spread of disease in this State if, in his judgment, any of the excluded entities are operating in a manner that is a risk to public health.”
Secretary of Health issued a directive order limiting gatherings of 10 people and 6-feet apart.
The Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Governor, has sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation, and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout Arkansas, as necessary and appropriate to control disease in the state of Arkansas as authorized by Ark. Code Ann. §20-7-109—110. Based on available scientific evidence, it is necessary and appropriate to take further action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Arkansas remain safe.
All public and private gatherings of any number of people are subject to the following directives and exceptions:
Due to the high risk of community spread of COVID-19, gatherings of more than ten (10) people in any confined indoor or outdoor space are prohibited until further notice. Gatherings subject to this directive include, without limitation, community, civic, public, leisure, commercial, or sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals.
This directive does not apply to gatherings of ten (10) or more people in unenclosed, outdoor spaces such as parks, trails, athletic fields and courts, parking lots, golf courses, and driving ranges where social distancing of at least six (6) feet can be easily achieved.
This directive does not apply to businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, places of worship, the Arkansas General Assembly, municipal or county governing bodies, or the judiciary; however, these entities are advised to limit person-to-person contact and maintain appropriate social distancing of at least six (6) feet to prevent the spread of this virus.
The Secretary of Health reserves the right to exercise his authority to prevent the spread of disease in this State if, in his judgment, any of the excluded entities are operating in a manner that is a risk to public health.