Email from J. P. Keith Keck

“Here is Saline County Judge Jeff Arey’s April 9 Update.

“Specific Highlights of Judge Arey’s are:

“1) Information from Conference Call with Arkansas Attorney General

“2) Questions/Answers from Arkansas Surgeon General to include the level of detailed information that may be made available under HIPAA rules.


“Lastly, I have attached [see below] a link for the Governor’s Proclamation regarding all the current directives the State of Arkansas is under. (I know the POA already posted this link on Monday but getting this out to multiple social media sources via this e-mail)”

Executive Order to Amend Executive Order 2003 Regarding the Public Health Emergency Concerning COVID-19 for the Purpose of Imposing Further Restrictions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19


Keith Keck

Justice of the Peace

Saline County Quorum Court


Email from Judge Jeff Arey

To Saline County Residents:   

“Attached [see below] are the numbers as of last night.  Our Confirmed Cases are now 30, which is down 3 from yesterday, showing that we had 3 people that have now recovered, I welcome that good news!  Persons Under Investigation are 22 up 1 from yesterday.  

4.8.20 Saline Co COVID-19 Spreadsheet


“Yesterday morning Attorney General Leslie Rutledge held a conference call with Mayors and County Judges across the state.  On the call, Attorney General Rutledge provided updates about Arkansas price-gouging and scams that we are seeing because of the pandemic.  The AG’s office has opened several price-gouging investigations. 

“The AG’s office has contributed $3 million for small business loans and $1 million to UAMS for hospital response across the state. 

“Also on the call was Surgeon General Bledsoe who provided a COVID-19 update, similar to public updates being provided by Governor Hutchinson and ADH Director Nate Smith.  He emphasized our low rates of hospitalization and death thus far.  The bulk of the call was dedicated to questions.  Below are four that I thought I would pass on:

  • In response to a question about individuals refusing to self-quarantine despite being ordered to do so, AG Rutledge referred to a letter sent out to officials on April 7th outlining protocols and who to contact with the AG office and ADH.
  • In response to a question about testing for antibodies, SG Bledsoe explained that the antibody test is under development and elevation by ADH right now.  He said the hope is that an antibody test will be ready by the end of April.  A difficulty is that it must still first be determined whether a person has been exposed before conducting the antibody test. 
  • Regarding whether city officials can be given access to the number of cases in their city borders, it was explained that ADH is tracking positive cases by county.  They have the information including the local address of each person, but they are not making that data or anything smaller than county-level publicly available.  ADH is also aware of individuals who are under home quarantine, and if a local leader needs more specific information for public safety, that local leader should reach out to ADH.  This is difficult because of HIPAA. 
  • In response to a question about when Arkansas infections will peak Dr. Bledsoe estimated the end of April or the first week of May, but he cautioned that we aren’t sure due to incomplete data.  The models continue to improve over time thanks to better data sets from other places in the U.S. Regarding when we will likely see things return to normal or a “new normal”, Dr. Bledsoe explained that the virus dictates the timeline— “our best hope is that by the end of the month or beginning of May, we’ll see a flattening of the curve and the number of severe cases.”  What the State is doing is having an impact—-the executive orders and social distancing recommendations.  “Everyone wants this to be over as soon as possible.”  “As the numbers start to drop, we’ll have a very strategic re-opening of certain activities.” The Governor wants to protect jobs and the economy as much as possible while also protecting public health.  “Ultimately, the virus will dictate when and how that happens.” 

“There is no doubt that the surge in unemployment is a result of the efforts to slow the spread of the virus. The ordered closures of gyms, hair salons, movie theaters, entertainment venues and the limiting of restaurants to takeout and delivery have been devastating to our local business community and caused many layoffs and cutbacks.   

“Many individuals are wanting to know what to do about the much talked about federal assistance for individuals and families.   For most no action needs to be taken.  Attached [see below] are a couple of flyers from the IRS that you could use to push out in your communities on social media that may be helpful.     

“Stay Safe and remember no more than 10, stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask in public places and wash your hands!” 

Jeff Arey

Saline County Judge

200 North Main Street, Suite 117

Benton, Arkansas 72015


Stimulus Checks Flyer


IRS Economic Impact Payment Flyer



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