As the COVID-19 pandemic reached Arkansas this spring, public and private institutions of higher education took the appropriate steps to help “flatten the curve” through limiting gatherings, moving classes to online formats and allowing many employees to work remotely. In keeping with the directives from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), these efforts have helped the state combat the spread of the virus. Now, as the state moves to begin lifting restrictions to reopen parts of the economy, institutions of higher education must make plans to reopen campuses for the traditional fall semester in August and remain open throughout the 2020-21 academic year. In doing so, campus leaders must consider a number of measures to continue combating the spread of the virus in partnership with health officials. To facilitate a safe reopening of campuses, higher education needs the appropriate health care infrastructure and supplies to combat the spread of COVID-19. Needs include robust testing infrastructure, personal protective equipment (PPE), dedicated higher education contact tracing and COVID-19 related supplies to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty and staff.
For a list of plans and other resources, click here.
As announced by Governor Asa Hutchinson at his press conference on Thursday, August 27, the Arkansas Department of Health will begin posting the positive COVID-19 cases in colleges and universities. This report is made available in conjunction with the same data for K-12 school districts across the state. The report will be published on the Department of Health's website every Monday and Thursday. You may access the report here.