Arkansas’ COVID-19 success story

While other states struggle with COVID-19, Arkansas considers itself a success story.

President Trump utilized the Defense Production Act in April to keep meat processing plants operating and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson welcomed the effort to bolster the food supply chain.

“The Defense Production Act has been utilized for the supply chain and that’s been appropriate. It’s been quietly influenced by the federal government, as well as to where the hotspots are, where the priorities are,” she said. “We cannot go to our grocery stores in this environment, in this America and not have sufficient food for people who need that nourishment.”

Quick action in the poultry industry limited the impact on its workforce.

“Our poultry industry which has been a challenge for us, but they are a critical and essential business. They have begun their own testing in their plants,” Hutchinson said, “they don’t simply rely on the government to do that...We have over 60 processing plants in Arkansas, and none of them are currently shut down. They are all operational and people are working.”

Even as the curve flattens, preparing for a second wave is critical. He says that additional data will be crucial to opening up the economy even more.

For all updates on the Coronavirus and how it impacts Rural America, visit our Coronavirus outbreak hub.