COVID-19 Daily Update Archive: March - May 5, 2020
New information is coming in daily on this rapidly-changing situation. Click on the links below for quick access to specific information. Please check this page regularly for the latest updates.
May 5, 2020 Update:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance now accepting applications
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced they will open the application process for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on May 5th, at 6:00 AM.
Visit ARUnemployment.com for the latest information on how to apply.
Limited operations to resume for large venues
Yesterday, Governor Hutchinson announced that large outdoor and indoor venues may resume operations with certain limitations in place to limit COVID-19 exposure and spread.
May 4: Large outdoor venues - read the directive
May 18: Large indoor venues - read the directive
Guidance for places of worship
The Arkansas Department of Health offers new guidance for places of worship and faith-based organizations here.
This guidance aligns with the State’s "Phase 1 Reopening" plan. Additional guidance will be issued as the State moves into future phases of reopening.
May 1, 2020 Update
Governor Hutchinson announced today that barber, cosmetology, body art, massage, and medical spa services will reopen on May 6. This does not apply to cosmetology schools, which will be under consideration at a later date. Restrictions apply, including social distancing of at least six feet between patrons and a maximum of ten people in a facility at a time. Walk-in service will be prohibited, all services must be by appointment, and customers should wait outside or in their cars prior to their appointment time. Each station will be thoroughly cleaned between appointments, service providers must wash hands between each appointment, and staff should wear masks and gloves. Customers should also wear face coverings as services permit. Staff will conduct health screenings on customers before they enter the facility, and customers who have any symptoms, even those attributable to allergies, should postpone their appointment.
A new Department of Health directive with details on this re-opening and applicable restrictions will be posted here: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus
April 30, 2020 Update
Gyms, fitness centers and athletic facilities reopen on May 4
Governor Hutchinson announced today that gyms, fitness centers and indoor athletic facilities will re-open on May 4. Restrictions will apply to these facilities, including patrons and staff observing 12-foot social distancing while working out and training. Pools, showers, saunas and spas will not be included in the May 4 re-opening. Staff and patrons are required to wear face coverings and refrain from personal contact. Equipment is required to be sanitized after each use. Patrons are not allowed to enter these facilities if they have recently traveled to or from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans or overseas locations.
April 29, 2020 Update:
Restaurant dine-in operations to resume May 11
Governor Hutchinson announced today that restaurant dine-in operations can resume beginning May 11, with capacity limitations and other restrictions as part of a Phase 1 re-opening plan specific to restaurants. Read the Governor’s press release here: https://governor.arkansas.gov/news-media/press-releases/limited-dine-in-restaurant-service-may-resume-may-11-governor-announces
For both indoor and outdoor on-site dining, restaurants will observe a 33 percent (or one-third) occupancy rate with groups of no more than 10 people and ongoing requirements for social distancing, face coverings, staff screenings, cleaning/disinfecting and more.
The State’s timelines for Phases 2 and 3 of resuming restaurant operations will be based on COVID-19 data. Phase 1 restaurant regulations will be enforced by the Arkansas Department of Health.
Limited re-opening of State Parks amenities, lodging and RV camping for Arkansas residents
Governor Hutchinson announced yesterday a target date of May 15, 2020 for a limited reopening of some State Parks amenities. This includes visitor information centers, retail and exhibits. State officials reinforced that this reopening is subject to limited capacity and continued social distancing.
Also targeted for May 15, cabins, lodges and rental RVs will have limited capacity re-opening. Reservations will restricted to Friday through Monday only, to allow for proper cleaning and sanitizing. These amenities will be available and accessible only to in-state Arkansas residents at this time.
Camping for in-state Arkansas residents using self-contained RVs will reopen with a target date of May 1.
For more information: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/covid-19-update
April 27, 2020 Update:
The Arkansas Department of Health has provided guidance that everyone should wear a face covering when in public. If you leave home, please wear a face covering as a preventative measure against community spread of COVID-19. Learn more here.
April 24, 2020 Update:
SBA Paycheck Protection Program funding update
With H.R. 266 becoming law, the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans have received an additional round of funding. The City of Fayetteville’s Economic Vitality Department anticipates this round of funding to be depleted in a matter of days. Small businesses looking to utilize the program are strongly encouraged to begin coordination with local financial institutions as soon as possible.
Learn more about the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program here: http://startupcityofthesouth.com/3886/COVID-19-Business-Resources
Unemployment website and hotline changes
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) shared two important updates today for unemployment claims filing, processing and questions:
- The state’s online claims filing website will be temporarily offline on Saturday, April 25 from 6 a.m. to noon. The site is being moved to a larger mainframe, which will help with faster and more reliable online claims processing.
- The DWS hotline for processing unemployment claims over the phone will be available seven days a week beginning this Sunday, April 26. That line is 1-844-908-2178, and it’s open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For additional unemployment information from DWS: https://www.arunemployment.com/
Statewide COVID-19 testing surge on Friday and Saturday (April 24 and 25)
The Governor and the Arkansas Department of Health are promoting a two-day testing surge across the state. The goal is to increase testing from 1,000 to 1,500 per day on April 24 and 25. An increase in tests may help give state officials a more complete understanding of the presence of COVID-19 in Arkansas. Learn more about the two-day testing surge here.
The Arkansas Department of Health advises that if you have symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath, testing is available to you. Call your health care provider first and follow their guidance. Some testing sites have on-site symptom screening as well as extended hours during this two-day testing surge. Click here to learn more about getting tested.
April 22, 2020 Update:
Governor’s timeline for decisions on re-opening certain businesses
Governor Hutchinson has announced a target date of May 4, 2020 as a starting point for lifting some business restrictions throughout the state. This date is reliant upon continued statewide progress toward reducing COVID-19 community spread. Today, the Governor shared additional dates indicating when he will announce further decisions on when restrictions might be lifted on specific business types:
April 29 – Announcement on restaurant decision
April 30 – Announcement on gyms decision
May 1 – Beauty and barber salon decision
May 4 – Places of worship and larger venues
Additionally, restrictions on elective medical procedures will be lifted effective April 27, 2020. By tomorrow, the Arkansas Department of Health expects to publish more details and requirements about lifting restrictions on elective procedures.
The Governor shares daily reminders that it is important for all Arkansans to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. The ability to achieve his May 4 target date depends on everyone continuing to follow guidelines for social distancing, face coverings in public, hand-washing and more. For more information and to watch the Governor’s daily press briefings, go here.
April 21, 2020 Update:
SBA Paycheck Protection Program update
Small Businesses are strongly encouraged to begin preparing for the possibility of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to be reopened this week. Learn more here.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance guidance
Today, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced that the claim filing system for self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who have lost self or contract employment due to COVID-19 is being developed and will be available soon. You can take several steps to get ready to apply once the system is ready:
- File your 2019 Federal tax return so you can verify your income. Payments can still be paid by the deadline, but it will be helpful to go ahead and file.
- Gather documents to provide proof you are self-employed and how your business was impacted by COVID-19. Examples include:
- 1099 forms
- Business License
- City Permits
- Utility Bills
- Recent advertisements for your business
- Contracts, invoices and or building leases.
Learn more about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance here.
April 17, 2020 Update:
Social distancing and face coverings when visiting parks and trails
Planning to enjoy City trails and parks? Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and healthy:
- Bring your mask or face covering with you to the trails and parks! This will keep you prepared in case there are a lot of other people out and about.
- Consider visiting parks and trails during off-peak times, so you encounter fewer people and have an easier time keeping up with appropriate distancing.
- Don’t forget to maintain at least six feet between you and others - look for new signs with reminders of what six feet actually looks like!
- For added safety, give more than six feet if you can - the more space between you and others, the better.
April 16, 2020 Update
Announcing the Grow Fayetteville Initiative
Mayor Jordan issued a proclamation announcing the launch of the Grow Fayetteville Initiative! The Initiative will bring together many people and organizations across the community who will collaborate to improve access to locally grown foods and educate residents on how to grow their own food in order to reduce food insecurity during COVID-19 and beyond. Click here to view the Grow Fayetteville Initiative Day proclamation.
New Arkansas unemployment website
The State of Arkansas has launched a new website for unemployment information: ARUnemployment.com.
New hours to apply for unemployment have also been announced:
- Apply Online: Sunday- Saturday 6:00AM-6:00PM
- Apply by Phone at 1.844.908.2178: Sunday-Saturday 6:00AM-6:00PM
The IRS has created a webpage to help you with your stimulus payment
The federal government economic impact payments, also referred to as “stimulus” payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by those who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees. You can visit this site to check on the status of your payment or update your bank information.
If you don’t file taxes, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application on the site to provide simple information so you can get your payment. You should use this application if:
- You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or
- You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons.
April 15, 2020 Update:
Governor Hutchinson announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a request from the State of Arkansas to use Medicaid funds for additional pay to certain types of direct-care health workers.
For more information and to see a list of eligible workers: https://governor.arkansas.gov/news-media/press-releases/governor-hutchinson-announces-cms-approval-of-additional-pay-for-eligible-ltss-direct-care-workers-due-to-covid-19-emergency
April 14, 2020 Update:
Executive Order: First-Responders can qualify for Worker’s Compensation
Governor Hutchinson has issued a new Executive Order making it possible for first responders and front-line health care workers to file claims for Worker’s Compensation if they contract COVID-19 as a result of exposure in the course of their work. Click here to view the Executive Order.
New Testing Drive-Thru Pilot
A pilot project drive-thru testing center is now open for anyone who qualifies with COVID-19 symptoms. The facility is located at the Walmart Home Office’s west parking lot at 702 SW 8th Street in Bentonville. Those who’d like to be tested must first make an appointment at www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com.Those who meet the CDC testing criteria will receive an appointment confirmation. The drive-thru is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but patients are asked to arrive no sooner than 10 minutes before their scheduled appointment. Click here for more information.
April 13, 2020 Update:
Sign Up for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is currently in the process of building a new system to accept Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications. To receive information from the State on the status of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, click here to sign up for notifications.
Learn more about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the CARES Act here.
City Offering Delivery of Compost to Fayetteville Residents
Delivery of food-waste compost is now available to Fayetteville residents while quantities last. Food-waste compost is made using recovered food waste from schools and restaurants, which is mixed with yard-waste materials at the City’s compost facility.
The service includes delivery of two cubic yards of compost for the cost of $75. Low- to moderate-income households, or those newly unemployed could be eligible for free or reduced pricing. Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Delivery will be to residential homes only; no commercial properties will be part of this new service. A maximum of two yards of compost will be delivered, and mulch will not be delivered.
To schedule the service, residents need to call the Recycling and Trash Collection office at 479-575-8398 and sign up for the delivery option. Click here to learn more.
Additional Food-Waste Composting Drop-Off Site Offered
The Happy Hollow Recycling Drop-off facility, located at 1420 S. Happy Hollow Road, will have a food-waste cart available where residents may place their food waste. Residents are encouraged to use a reusable container, not lined with plastic, to drop off food waste at one of the three (3) locations listed below.
DROP-OFF TIMES & LOCATIONS:
Food Waste & Yard Waste Drop-off
City of Fayetteville Compost Site
1708 S. Armstrong Avenue
Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.m
November-March: First Saturday from 8 am to noon
April-October: First and second Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon
Recycling & Food Waste Drop-off ONLY (no yard waste)
Marion Orton Recycling Center
735 West North Street
Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Happy Hollow Recycling Center
1420 S. Happy Hollow
Sunday-Saturday 24 hours a day
April 12, 2020 Update:
Social Distancing, Quarantine and Isolation – what’s the difference?
You’ve probably heard these terms frequently over the past month. Social distancing, quarantine and isolation are all methods for slowing the spread of COVID-19, but what do they mean?
- Social distancing is the practice of keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your household – this means keeping six feet apart, limiting group sizes and avoiding crowded places and large gatherings
- Quarantine is keeping someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others by staying home and/or limiting movement outside of the home
- Isolation is used to separate sick people from healthy people by staying home and trying to stay away from others within the household
Learn more here about keeping your distance to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even though we need to keep our distance from others right now, it’s important to stay in touch with family, friends, loved ones and neighbors. Don’t forget to reach out to others – you can still call, text, video chat, email and more.
April 11, 2020 Update:
Managing stress and anxiety during the pandemic
The CDC has some helpful resources for managing stress and anxiety during COVID-19.
Additionally, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) recommends that you reach out to your insurance company to learn about providers and counseling services available to you. If you don’t have insurance, if your insurance doesn’t cover these services or if you have Medicaid, you can call the DHS Mental Health and Addiction Services Support Hotline at 844-763-0198. It’s open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A representative will help you find a list of providers offering services and assessments in your area. Some of these services may be available via telehealth – including individual counseling and marriage/family therapy. Even if you haven’t received services from DHS in the past, you may still be eligible to access these services.
Learn more about how to get help here.
April 10, 2020 Update:
Parking regulations remain in effect for the City of Fayetteville and a scaled-back approach to enforcement is being used to ensure compliance with those regulations. Warnings for expired and unpaid meters are being issued as a method to inform parkers that the regulations are still in effect. However, multiple warnings for frequent violators could result in a citation. In addition, several on-street parking spaces throughout the Downtown area have been converted to “free” temporary parking for curbside pickup.
Revenue generated from parking fees and fines is dedicated to pay the bond that was used to construct the Spring Street Parking Deck, which opened in 2015 to meet growing demand in the Dickson Street Entertainment District.
While we realize and appreciate the uncertainty that all of us are facing during this unprecedented time, it is important to note that certain limitations do exist. We’d be happy to consider temporary suspension of the paid parking regulations if possible, however such an action would jeopardize the bond covenant. Enforcement of these regulations helps to encourage turnover which leads to easy-to-find customer parking for downtown businesses.
Please visit http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/Parking for more information on the City’s parking programs. To request a “curbside pickup” designation for your business please contact our office at 479-575-8280.
Guidance for businesses on handling employee illness
Northwest Arkansas area health care providers have shared guidance for businesses on how to handle employee illness and exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic. View guidance in English and Spanish.
Wash your hands often and wear a face covering
Please stay at home as much as possible, but if you have to leave home - don’t forget to wash your hands often and wear a face covering. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent viral spread. Hand sanitizer is a great option while you are in public. When you are out in public, and when you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a face covering helps repress droplets from coughs and sneezes. Learn more about face coverings here.
April 9, 2020 Update:
The University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is holding two webinars tailored to individuals and organizations working in the arts and culture space.
April 9, 2020, 3:00PM
Small Business and Non-Profit Emergency Assistance Program – Arts and Culture Organizations
UA Students and the Census
Even while University of Arkansas classes are being held virtually, students who were living off-campus here in Fayetteville before the shut-down still need to complete their census forms for their student address. Regardless of where students are staying during the pandemic, it’s important that they still be counted here in Fayetteville! Census data is used to determine how much federal funding is provided in our area for education, transportation, and health programs. Everyone Counts!
Haven’t completed your census form yet? Follow the link below and check it off your list! It’s easy, secure, and only takes about ten minutes!
April 8, 2020 Update:
Spring bulky waste clean-up events postponed
The City of Fayetteville’s Recycling and Trash Collection Division is announcing that the Spring Bulky Waste Clean-Ups scheduled for April 18 and April 25, 2020 are postponed until the summer in response to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.New dates will be announced later in the summer as conditions allow for easing of social distancing guidelines. The paper shredding event originally associated with the April 18 date will be rescheduled as well.
Ward 3, formerly set for Saturday, April 18, is now postponed to later in the summer:
- Butterfield Trail Elementary (3050 Old Missouri Road)
- Recycling & Trash Collection Facility (1560 S. Happy Hollow Road)
Ward 4, formerly set for Saturday, April 25, is now postponed to later in the summer:
- Holcomb Elementary (2900 N. Salem Road)
- Recycling & Trash Collection Facility (1560 S. Happy Hollow Road)
For more information, please contact the Recycling and Trash Collection Office at 479-575-8398 or get more info at www.recyclesomething.org.
Business Resources page redesign
Our COVID-19 Business Resources page has been adjusted to help you better locate key information on both desktop and mobile devices. Please keep checking back for the latest information about small business resources, unemployment information, local resources and more.
Expiration dates for medical marijuana cards temporarily suspended
The Arkansas Department of Health recently announced that it is suspending expiration dates for medical marijuana patient and caregiver cards. If you have a card that expires during the COVID-19 pandemic, you will not be issued a new card and your existing card will be honored at your local dispensary. Additionally, telehealth visits for physician certification is allowed during the pandemic. Learn more here.
April 7, 2020 Update:
Webinars available for small businesses
For small businesses seeking advice or assistance during the pandemic, the The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and other partners are hosting multiple webinars for small businesses over the next two weeks. Click here for additional information.
A notice from City Code Enforcement
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City’s Community Resources Division is continuing to issue notices for violations of City code for such things as overgrown lawns, blocking of right-of-way, etc. However, in order to protect our staff and residents from COVID-19, our officers will no longer place hang-tags on doors, but will instead place a violation notice on a stake in the yard. As always, no notice of violation is made unless a complaint has been made to the City and the complaint has been verified. For more information, visit http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/603/Code-Compliance
Small Business Assistance Guide in Spanish
Startup Junkie now has a small business resource guide available in Spanish covering small business assistance under the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program. View it here: https://www.startupjunkie.org/ppp-espanol
April 6, 2020 Update:
Grocery and retail shopping changes:
Many grocery stores and other retail locations have new measures in place to help maintain social distancing. Changes you can expect to see include:
- Allowing only a certain number of customers inside the store at one time
- Implementing “one person, one cart” or “one in, one out” admittance rules
- Reducing access points to one designated entrance and one designated exit
- Guiding customers to stay six feet apart when waiting outside to enter the store or at check-out lines
- Installing sneeze-guards/plastic shields between customers and cashiers
- Providing gloves and masks to workers
- Reducing hours of operation to allow for cleaning and restocking
- Offering special shopping hours for seniors
Customers should not view grocery or other shopping trips as a group or family activity during the pandemic. Instead, retailers recommend that only one person should be sent to take care of household shopping. This reduces COVID-19 exposure risks and helps keep stores from having so many customers that social distancing can’t be maintained.
Before you head to the store, it’s a good idea to check the retailer’s website for the latest information on hours, safety measures and other guidelines that may affect your shopping trip. To limit your risk of exposure, practice social distancing, touch as few items or surfaces as possible, consider wearing a mask or cloth face covering and don’t forget to wash your hands after you get home.
Arkansas Community Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund
On Sunday, Governor Hutchinson asked Arkansans who are able to do so to make donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was established by the Arkansas Community Foundation to assist in pandemic relief. All donations made to this fund will be granted to Arkansas nonprofits working to serve the state’s most vulnerable populations and those disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and its economic fallout.
To date, businesses, foundations, and individuals in Arkansas have donated a total of $2 million to the fund. Donors include the Arkansas Community Foundation, Entergy Charitable Foundation, Riggs CAT, the Tyson Family Foundation, Walmart Foundation, Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation, and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
Donations can be made online at www.arcf.org/covid19 or by mailing a check to Arkansas Community Foundation, 5 Allied Drive, Suite 51110, Little Rock, AR 72202.
Since March 20, 2020, the Community Foundation has issued 175 grants to nonprofits helping with pandemic relief and is currently reviewing additional applications on a rolling basis. The grant portal is still open for nonprofits to apply.
April 5, 2020 Update:
Yesterday Governor Hutchinson issued an amended Executive Order (EO-20-13) in an effort to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 community spread by leisure travelers to Arkansas.
Effective April 6, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., commercial lodgings and short-term rentals may offer occupancy only to certain types of authorized guests:
- Healthcare professionals
- First responders
- Law enforcement
- State or Federal employees on official business
- National Guard Members on active duty
- Airline crew members
- Patients of hospitals and their families
- Persons unable to return to their homes because of COVID-19 travel restrictions
- Arkansas citizens unable to return to their homes due to exigent circumstances, such as fire, flood, tornado or other disaster
- Persons in need of shelter because of domestic violence or homelessness
- Employees of hotels, motels or other service providers/contractors of a hotel or motel
- Persons away from their home because of work or work-related travel
You can view this and other Executive Orders from Governor Hutchinson here.
April 4, 2020 Update:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings when you are in public areas where social distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain. CDC gives several options for making masks at home, including masks that don’t require sewing and can be made with fabric and elastic bands. Cloth masks can be washed and re-used - but don’t forget to wash your hands after taking off your mask. Learn more here, and download instructions for making cloth masks here.
CDC also shared this video with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams demonstrating how easy it is to make your own cloth mask at home:
April 3, 2020 Update:
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Applications
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program is open for applications. You can apply now with SBA approved banks and other lenders. Small businesses are encouraged to contact their local financial institution for more information on how to apply. Get more details here.
Unemployment Insurance update
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new guidelines about unemployment insurance. Learn more in today’s update on our COVID-19 Business Resources page.
Face masks to help prevent COVID-19 community spread
Staying at home, social distancing and frequent hand-washing are the best lines of defense for preventing the spread of COVID-19. If you have to leave your home, you are encouraged to wear a face mask. Face masks help keep you and others safe by repressing droplets from coughs, sneezes and more. Even if you don’t think you are sick, wearing a mask is an action you can take to help prevent community spread of COVID-19. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, work, the pharmacy or the park – face masks, social distancing and hand-washing can help suppress the number of positive cases in our community.
What wearing a mask can do for you:
- Keep you from touching your nose and mouth and getting infected from germs on your hands (but remember not to touch your eyes either!)
- Help protect your nose and mouth from large infected respiratory droplets from other people’s cough or sneeze!)
- If you are sick, it will help to keep you from coughing or sneezing infected respiratory droplets onto your hands or onto surfaces that others may touch later
You don’t need an official medical or surgical style mask to reduce the risk of transmission. You can make a mask using this pattern from the Arkansas Department of Health or you can use common fabric items around your home to make a mask – such as a bandana, an old shirt or a dishtowel. Homemade face masks should be made using fabric and should allow you to comfortably breathe when the mask is in place over your mouth and nose.
Fayetteville Public Schools – Meals for Kids
FPS will provide meals to children ages 18 and under at five sites in Fayetteville on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. while schools are closed due to COVID-19. The FPS Outback and other local partner agencies will be open to serve families who need additional assistance with food and other needs.
April 2, 2020 Update:
State Parks access:
Arkansas State Parks have announced access limitations and some closures to help prevent COVID-19 spread. Get more information here, and please check for updates before heading out to state park.
Buffalo National River closure:
National River is closed to recreational use beginning today. This includes the river, trails, open spaces and campgrounds. Learn more here.
April 1, 2020 Update:
COVID-19 Task Force Seeking Donations
The NWA COVID – 19 Task Force is composed of representatives from area school, city, county, state, fire, police, and first responders. The team is fighting the spread of the virus through collaboration across city and county lines.
There is limited availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to supply-chain constraints. To help our first responders and public safety officials as they serve those in need, the NWA COVID-19 Task Force is asking the community for donations. Click here to view a list of needed supplies and how you can donate!
Reminder: Curbside recycling temporarily suspended
Curbside pick-up for your recyclables was suspended on March 23. This is a temporary measure to help protect City workers from potential exposure to COVID-19. All residential yard waste compost collection and residential/small commercial trash collection services remain unchanged at this time.
Go here to find out where you can drop off your recyclables.
Social distancing in parks and on trails
When you visit the City’s parks and trails, don’t forget to keep six feet between you and others who are enjoying the great outdoors. Please help keep yourself and others safe - keep your distance!
March 31, 2020 Update:
Travel Advisory update
The Arkansas Department of Health has issued a revised travel advisory for people traveling from COVID-19 “hot spots.” This updated advisory includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans and all international locations. It recommends self-quarantine for 14 days for anyone traveling from these locations. Learn more here.
The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services is now accepting applications online and over the phone for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Go here to learn more.
Motor Vehicle Registrations
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Revenue has suspended the penalty for late vehicle registration of motor vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.
March 30, 2020 Update:
Social Distancing Reminder for City Parks and Trails
Mayor Jordan and the City’s Parks and Recreation Division remind residents and visitors using all city parks and trails to maintain six feet between themselves and others and to limit group size to no more than 10 people. Don’t forget to keep your pets on leashes at all times.
Farmers’ Market on Downtown Square Postponed
Saturday markets will be held at Evelyn Hills Shopping Center
Mayor Jordan announced today that the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market at the Fayetteville Downtown Square and Gardens will be postponed until at least April 25, 2020. This date is subject to change based on new information about community spread and public health risks. The Farmer’s Market, which normally operates three days a week from April to November on the Downtown Square, was originally scheduled to hold its opening day on Saturday, April 4.
Mayor Jordan stated:
“I have attended the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market since 1973, and I always look forward to spending Saturdays on the Square with all of you. But I can’t do that at this time. The Farmers’ Market draws a sizeable crowd of people from all age groups, who come into close contact with each other for hours at a time – and those are all things we must avoid to slow community spread of this COVID-19 pandemic. I am committed to finding ways that residents can secure safe access to healthy local foods.”
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advise that large events and gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, ADH has issued directives limiting indoor and some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people. It continues to recommend limiting person-to-person contact and keeping six feet from others when visiting public places, particularly those where vulnerable populations may be present.
Postponing the Farmers’ Market on the Downtown Square aligns with Mayor Jordan’s new policies enacted under Ordinance 6292 to protect and preserve the health and safety of Fayetteville citizens and residents. The Fayetteville Downtown Square and Gardens is a city-owned park property, and the decision to postpone the Market’s annual opening at this location echoes previous decisions to postpone events held on city property and to close city park amenities where social distancing is not being observed or cannot be easily achieved.
Road closures around the Fayetteville Downtown Square and Gardens normally associated with the Farmers’ Market have been temporarily lifted. Visitors are urged to watch for moving vehicles and use caution when visiting the Square or crossing nearby streets. While the Fayetteville Downtown Square and Gardens remains open to the public at this time, social distancing and limitations on group size will continue to be enforced by the Fayetteville Police Department. Distancing and group size limitations apply to all groups on or around this location, regardless of their affiliation with the Farmer’s Market.
City officials have been working with Farmer’s Market organizers to find a safe way for farmers to sell their products and for customers to buy those products during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Saturday markets at Evelyn Hills: The Market will continue operations on Saturdays at the Winter Market location at Evelyn Hills Shopping Center in the Parking Lot, 1330 N College Ave. Times of operation will be Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for Seniors only, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all customers. Vendors will set up outside with spacing to accommodate social distancing, and hand-washing stations will be available. Vendors are limiting selections to farm products and items listed as essentials. At this time, Tuesday and Thursday markets are on hold.
The market has also implemented an online ordering process with online payment and easy pickup, limiting exposure. Farmers’ Market organizers encourage customers to use online ordering to limit the number of people at market. Online orders open on Tuesday at noon and close on Thursday at 9 p.m. Orders can picked up at market in a separate location in the parking lot from 10 a.m.to 1 p.m. Online orders can be place at https://fayettevillearkansas.locallygrown.net/market.
More details about the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market operations are available on the organization’s social media pages and at www.fayettevillefarmersmarket.org
March 29, 2020 Update:
Limiting direct contact during delivery and takeout meals
To minimize opportunities for COVID-19 spread, please remember to limit the amount of direct contact during meal deliveries or when picking up takeout orders. Restaurants are encouraged to offer online or other electronic payments at the time an order is placed, so that workers and customers are not passing cards, cash and receipts back and forth. Additionally, restaurants should consider “no contact” home delivery of meals, where deliveries are not physically handed to customers and where customers are not required to sign receipts and come into direct contact with delivery workers.
When placing orders, customers can ask about options to reduce or eliminate direct contact. This is especially important if someone in the household has symptoms of COVID-19, flu or another contagious illness. Once a customer receives a meal delivery, it’s a good idea to transfer the meal to a plate, throw out delivery containers and wash your hands before eating.
Some tips on safely ordering take-out and delivery here: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a31930301/is-food-delivery-takeout-safe-coronavirus/
Travel advisory statement from Arkansas Department of Health
ADH recommends Self Home Quarantine for 14 days for all travelers from New York State and all international locations. This is due to high rates of COVID-19 in New York as well as in a growing number of international locations. In the interest of the public health, all travelers who return from one of these locations are advised to quarantine at home for 14 days, starting from the date they left that location. If you develop fever, cough, or other symptom of COVID19, you should contact your doctor for advice on where to be evaluated.
You can find details of home quarantine here: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programsservices/topics/covid-19-guidance-for-self-home-quarantine
March 28, 2020 Update:
6 p.m. update: In his daily press briefing, Governor Hutchinson, along with state and federal officials, announced new information about financial assistance for individuals and small businesses made available through Arkansas legislation, the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and more. Find more information on different types of assistance using these links:
You can watch the Governor’s briefing here. Information about individual and business assistance begins around eight minutes into the recording. More information about the City of Fayetteville’s Small Business Resiliency Task Force is available here.
1:30 p.m. update: CARES Act Passes
H.R. 748 CARES Act (the Coronovirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) became law on March 27, 2020. It provides assistance for workers, families and businesses, including: $300 billion total in direct cash payments to individuals; $350 billion in job retention loans for small businesses, with loan forgiveness available to businesses that continue paying workers; and approximately $250 billion in expanded unemployment benefits.
Small businesses: Please go to our COVID-19 Business Resources page for information and resources on relief available under the CARES Act. Startup Junkie has a legislative update to help you understand small business relief under the new CARES Act.
March 27, 2020 Update:
Preparing to apply and applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Small businesses who intend on applying for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration may want to begin applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans now. Go to our Business Resources page to find out how to apply.
Joining in on Virtual City Meetings
During the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council and committee meetings will be held virtually for committee members and for members of the public who wish to participate. These meetings will be held via ZOOM. Instructions and meeting codes for each meeting will be published 24 hours prior to the meeting. Click here to visit the Virtual Meetings page.
Fishing License Fee Waiver Extended Until April 17
The City of Fayetteville’s Parks and Recreation Division is pleased to announce that City permit fees for fishing on Lake Sequoyah and Lake Fayetteville will be waived for Fayetteville residents until April 17, 2020. The lakes are open for bank fishing only. Boat ramps and marinas currently are closed. Patrons are reminded to abide by all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations, along with practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes to no more than 10 people to slow the spread of COVID-19.
March 26, 2020 Update:
UAMS Screening Clinics
UAMS Health offers three free screening options that help protect you, our patients, and our staff from the spread of viral illnesses.
Online screening is available through UAMS Health Now.
Phone screening is available through the UAMS Health hotline at 1-800-632-4502.
Drive-through screening. Click here for additional information about drive-through screening.
Internet slow-downs due to remote work
In his daily press briefing this afternoon, Governor Hutchison acknowledged that the Telecom industry has been pressed to accommodate all the additional Internet traffic due to people working remotely. He stated that the Telecom providers have accelerated the speed, but continue to make adjustments to meet increased demand.
Keep Wipes out of the Pipes
The City’s Department of Wastewater Management reminds residents that baby wipes, "flushable" towelettes, and paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet. These materials, even if sold as "flushable," are not made to disintegrate in water, and cause clogging and damage to the City’s sewers and lift stations. Please remember to dispose of these items in the trash.
March 24, 2020 Update:
Mayor Jordan announced a fifth policy under Ordinance 6292 implementing temporary additional limitations or adjusted requirements on the process for developer submissions, parks amenities, fishing licenses and an upcoming ban on polystyrene. These policy items were added in a continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community and to address concerns raised by residents and businesses.
- A residential developer who chooses to pay Fee-in-Lieu of required parkland dedication is not required to submit plats, plans or proposals to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board prior to submitting development plans to the Planning Commission.
- City permit fees for fishing on Lake Fayetteville and Lake Sequoyah are waived for the same time period as State fishing license fees and requirements are waived by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
- City park amenities are closed until further notice, and groups that do not practice distancing on city park property are prohibited. Amenity closures include basketball and other playing courts, playing fields, playgrounds, water fountains, restrooms, gazebos and any other amenity or location where social distancing is not being observed. Please note: All city trails and parks will remain open to the public at this time, and Walker Park restrooms also will remain open.
- The ban on disposable, single-use polystyrene foam products scheduled for May 1, 2020 has been delayed until July 1, 2020.
Fayetteville Police will increase its presence on City trails and in parks to encourage compliance with social distancing and trail safety. Residents who observe persons or establishments operating out of compliance with Mayor Jordan’s regulations on public gatherings on parks, trails, business establishments or other locations are encouraged to call the non-emergency line for Police and Fire Dispatch at 479-587-3560.
March 23, 2020 Update:
In his daily press briefing, Governor Hutchinson announced a new directive closing barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, tattoo studios, massage therapy locations and more. The official directive from the Arkansas Department of Health detailing these closures will be available tomorrow from the ADH website. (update: find the directive here)
Fayetteville residents who observe establishments operating out of compliance with the Arkansas Department of Health’s directives are encouraged to call the non-emergency line for Police and Fire Dispatch at 479-587-3560.
The Governor also announced that the individual tax filing deadline in Arkansas has been extended to July 15, matching federal individual income tax deadlines. Existing deadlines for corporate and estimated tax filers remain the same for Arkansas state taxes. A special session of the legislature will be convened soon to address an anticipated $353 million budget shortfall, which officials expect as a result of both an economic downturn from closed businesses and the delayed receipt of individual tax payments.
The Fayetteville Police Department front lobby is now closed. However, the public can still access the vestibule through the front doors and use the call box. The call box will direct you to the Records Department, which is currently working 24 hours a day for you.
Animal Services update:
The Animal Services office is now closed to the public. However, if you are interested in adopting, please follow these steps:
- If you are interested in an adoptable shelter pet, please call the shelter at 479-444-3456 and speak with the staff member in charge of the pet’s care.
- If you think the pet will be a good fit, next fill out the adoption application which can be found on the city’s website at the link below and email it to email@example.com Link: http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/539/Animal-Adoption-Process
- Lastly, Animal Services will arrange a time for you to come to the shelter, meet the pet, and if all goes well, take the pet home!
March 22, 2020 Update:
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has a hotline available for filing unemployment and other services. It will be available beginning Monday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 1-844-908-2178. Also beginning Monday, you will be able to file claims online at https://www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov/. Please do not go to the unemployment office in person – call or go online.
March 21, 2020 Update:
- K-12 schools
- state government work arrangements
- hospitals, clinics and mental health facilities
- bars and restaurants
- gyms and indoor entertainment venues
The ADH directive on gyms and indoor entertainment venues specifies the following:
Due to the close contact that occurs among customers and staff and recent recommendations of avoiding social gatherings of more than ten (10) people, gyms (including fitness centers/clubs, fitness classes, and group fitness studios) and indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, trampoline parks, and indoor amusement centers, are closed to nonessential functions until further notice.
Fayetteville residents who observe establishments operating out of compliance with ADH directives are encouraged to call the non-emergency line for Police and Fire Dispatch at 479-587-3560.
ADH Call Center
ADH has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about COVID-19. During normal business hours (8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 800-803-7847 or email ADH.CoronaVirus@arkansas.gov. After normal business hours and weekend calls, needing immediate response, please call 800-554-5738.
March 20, 2020 Update
Virtual Meetings for City Council and Planning Commission
As COVID-19 continues to spread across Arkansas, the City of Fayetteville will move to virtual access for upcoming City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Virtual meetings will be used until further notice to support the practice of social distancing.
City Hall is currently closed to the public, but the City remains committed to providing opportunities for residents to publicly comment on items being considered. In advance of these meetings, a sign will be posted on the front doors of City Hall alerting the public to how they may join.
The Planning Commission Meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. will be the first virtual meeting held by the city. Members of the public are encouraged to join the meeting and share comments. The public may submit comments in advance of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received via email will be read aloud by staff during Monday’s meeting. As this is the first meeting to be conducted virtually, City staff asks all attendees to be aware that technical challenges may occur and be worked out during the meeting.
An ordinance passed earlier this week allows the Mayor to temporarily permit the use of virtual meetings for City Council and Planning Commission in place of in-person meetings, as long as public comment and participation are accommodated.
Efforts to Help Small Businesses:
Mayor Lioneld Jordan and City officials are taking proactive steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. These steps fall in line with new, temporary regulations issued by Governor Hutchinson and guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Yesterday, Governor Hutchinson announced new regulations prohibiting dine-in service at bars and restaurants across the state. Following this announcement, Mayor Jordan issued an order with new regulations for bars and restaurants. City law preventing restaurants from selling groceries and food items has been suspended. Restaurants do not need to amend their business licenses or request permission to change their use. To assist with helping businesses advertise and provide services to customers, the City is allowing temporary signage, such as banners, to be displayed without time limitations. Business owners are also permitted to reconfigure their parking and loading areas to facilitate deliveries and curbside pick-up, provided that existing curb cuts (driveways) are maintained.
In response to questions about Hotel Motel Restaurant (HMR) reports and taxes due, City officials advise that HMR reports must be submitted on time this month. However, the City will allow required tax payments to be deferred without interest or penalty for 30 days. This change has been made to offer some flexibility in recognition of the challenges many businesses currently face.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state of Arkansas’s request for a Disaster Declaration. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is now open for application. The City of Fayetteville is adding information and resources for businesses on an almost daily basis at this webpage.
Additionally, Mayor Jordan has announced the creation of the Small Business Resiliency Task Force (SBRTF). The purpose of this task force is to expand the capacity of the Department of Economic Vitality as it works to assist, explore and develop resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Task Force will use a broad range of expertise from various organizations and industry sectors and will be charged with:
- Identifying additional measures to alleviate burdens upon small businesses during the pandemic
- Identifying access to capital opportunities for businesses that are not eligible for certain state or federal resources
- Identifying measures to assist dislocated workers impacted by business closures due to COVID-19
- Assessing best practices for small business support from communities across the country and exploring how to adapt them to work within the parameters of the laws of the City of Fayetteville and State of Arkansas
- Identifying and developing mid-term and long-term strategies for the redevelopment and activation of small businesses within the City of Fayetteville
A Note from VeoRide about their shared bicycle and e-scooter program:
Please click here to view an important health and safety note from VeoRide.
March 19, 2020
3:45 p.m. update: In light of the Governor’s new regulations prohibiting dine-in service at bars and restaurants, Mayor Jordan has issued an amended policy effective immediately to repeal and replace an earlier policy issued on March 17, 2020:
- Bars and restaurants are allowed to provide takeout, curbside and home delivery services only.
- Restaurants are hereby granted temporary suspension of any and all City regulations that might prevent them from operating as grocery stores/food markets or home delivery service.
- The maximum occupancy of any bar or restaurant providing the services above shall not exceed 10 people.
- Licensed restaurants, microbrewery restaurants, distilleries, small breweries, small farm wineries or liquor stores may operate pursuant to the emergency rule enacted by Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control
- All restaurants and bars shall continue to abide by all Department of Health regulations.
Additionally, Mayor Jordan has issued a new policy effective immediately regulating occupancy rates and distancing regulations in additional types of establishments:
- Theaters, auditoriums, meeting halls, and banquet facilities are required to observe an occupancy rate of no more than fifty (50) and performance restrictions to ensure no patron is seated within six (6) feet of another patron and that ensures any and all performers, actors, speakers, and staff remain at least six (6) feet away from any and all other patrons.
- Auditoriums and sanctuaries of religions institutions are encouraged to follow this policy for the safety of their members, but are not required to follow all limitations within this policy.
Information on COVID-19 screening criteria and testing locations in the Northwest Arkansas region is available here. The City of Fayetteville’s COVID-19 business resources page is being regularly updated with new resources to support business who are affected by this pandemic. A list of new policies enacted in response to COVID-19 is available here and is being updated as new policies are issued.
City Water Supply Safe and Secure
From The City of Fayetteville Utilities Department
In response to questions and concerns about whether the COVID-19 pandemic could affect the continuity of water service to Fayetteville residents, businesses and institutions, the Fayetteville Utilities Department wants to reassure our customers that we have been and continue to take steps to ensure our core mission of delivering safe, reliable water continues uninterrupted.
We are following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Department of Health in responding to COVID-19 in our service area. Safety and reliability are our top priorities. We recognize that many in our community are concerned about the financial impacts of this emergency. During this time, we will not discontinue water service for delinquent accounts.
You can continue to drink and use tap water. There is no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted through drinking water. Beaver Water District’s treatment method, which uses filtration and disinfection, removes and inactivates viruses, including the one that causes COVID-19. For more information about COVID and our national water supply, visit EPA.gov/Coronavirus.
City Hall is currently closed to the public, and in-person payments for bills and invoices are not available at this time. The payments office will continue to be staffed, and they will process payments and reports as usual. Customers may use drop-boxes outside of City Hall (check or money order only) and continue to make payments through the mail or electronically through the city’s payments page here. Requests for new service can be made by phone or by email. For new service contact information, please go here.
Tim Nyander, Utilities Director - City of Fayetteville
Parks and Recreation to Close Administrative Office, Some Public Restrooms
UPDATE at 5 p.m.: Gulley Park restrooms will be open to the public beginning Friday, March 20.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation office, located at 1455 Happy Hollow Road, will be closed to the public effective immediately. Staff will be answering the telephone at 479-444-3471 and emails at email@example.com between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Parks and Recreation Department is also closing most public restrooms located in City parks, with the exception of six key restrooms in heavily used areas. The restrooms remaining open are: Walker Park by the Baseball Complex and Razorback Trail, Wilson Park, Kessler Mountain Soccer Complex, Gordon Long, Lake Fayetteville Softball Complex, Lake Fayetteville Veterans Memorial Park.
Parks Maintenance staff is focusing on the most used park and trail restrooms so they can sanitize them two to three times per day.
Suspension of Curbside Recycling Collection to begin Monday, March 23.
The City of Fayetteville’s Recycling and Trash Collection Division is announcing the suspension of Fayetteville’s curbside recycling program to help limit community spread of COVID-19. This suspension begins Monday, March 23, and will remain in place until further notice. All residential yard waste compost collection and residential/small commercial trash collection services will remain unchanged at this time.
Because the curbside recycling program requires hand sorting of recyclables in each green 18-gallon recycling bin and there are many unknowns about how long the COVID-19 virus remains viable on surfaces, this service is being suspended to limit city workers’ potential exposure to the virus and to reduce chances of community spread.
Additional drop-off locations will be added. The drop-off sites, which will be available 24 hours a day beginning Monday, March 23, include:
- Happy Hollow Recycling Drop-Off, located at 1420 S. Happy Hollow Road
- Marion Orton Recycling Drop-Off, located at 735 W. North Street (now open 24 hours per day)
- Boys and Girls Club, located at 560 N. Rupple Road (source separated containers)
- Lokomotion Family Fun Park, located at 4520 N. College Ave. (source separated containers)
- Gary Hampton Field, located at 2790 N. Salem Road (source separated containers)
- Fayetteville Athletic Club at 2920 E. Zion Road (source separated containers)
March 18, 2020 Update
City of Fayetteville Mayor Jordan Calls Press Conference
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Following Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily press briefing at 1:30 p.m., Mayor Lioneld Jordan will address the media in room 219 of City Hall at 113 W. Mountain Street. This is expected to begin at approximately 2 p.m.
Mayor Jordan will give an update on COVID-19 and discuss current measures being taken to help prevent community spread. City of Fayetteville Fire Chief Brad Hardin, Police Chief Mike Reynolds and Director of Economic Development Devin Howland will join Mayor Jordan at the press conference to answer questions and provide additional information.
Additionally, Mayor Jordan will close City Hall to the public beginning March 19, 2020. Several City divisional offices announced closures to the public earlier this week, and many City staff have been directed to work remotely. These decisions were made to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to protect the City’s core services. A list of City offices closed to the public is available here. Office closures will be re-evaluated based on new information about the spread of COVID-19.
While City Hall is closed, in-person payments for bills and invoices will not be available. The payments office will continue to be staffed, and they will process payments and reports as usual. Customers may use drop-boxes outside of City Hall (check or money order only) and continue to make payments through the mail or electronically through the City’s payments page here. Requests for new service can be made by phone or by email. For new service contact information, please go here.
Seating in room 219 has been reduced to less than half of capacity and rearranged to allow for six feet between attendees. This change was made to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Attendees should sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving City Hall, using sanitizer stations located in the lobby and outside of room 219.
March 17, 2020 Update:
In further efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health and safety, Mayor Lioneld Jordan has implemented new regulations for bars and restaurants across Fayetteville. At a special City Council meeting held last night, the Mayor was given authority to create and enforce regulations on gatherings in public or private places during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance giving him this authority was passed unanimously by the Council.
- Bars and restaurants are required to observe an occupancy rate of no more than 50% of the total occupancy rate as set by the Fire Marshal
- Restaurants and bars are required to space tables and barstools at least six feet apart and limit party sizes to fewer than 10 people, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Curb-side, drive-through and delivery services from restaurants may continue operations as usual at this time
The purpose of limiting capacity in these establishments is to help “flatten the curve,” an approach recommended by multiple health and scientific organizations for slowing the rate of COVID-19 infections. Slowing infection rates helps prevent medical providers from becoming overloaded and reaching a point where they can no longer provide treatment to all those infected.
These new regulations will be reevaluated throughout the day, every day, and are subject to change based on compliance and information about the spread of COVID-19. The Mayor anticipates more stringent methods may be required.
Compliance will be enforced by the Fayetteville Fire Department. The public may report observed non-compliance by contacting the Fire Marshall at 479-444-3448 or the non-emergency line for Police and Fire Dispatch at 479-587-3560.
Many establishments have already implemented these social distancing practices, and Mayor Jordan thanks them for proactively working to protect the health and safety of their customers and workers.
In conjunction with these new regulations, Mayor Jordan is reaching out to City Council members, regional leaders, county officials, local delegates to state government and others to drive support for social distancing and additional COVID-19 testing kits for Northwest Arkansas.
March 16, 2020 Update:
Latest Update: 3:02 p.m.
Monday afternoon, President Trump announced new COVID-19 recommendations for Americans to follow over the next 15 days. This includes avoiding groups of more than 10 people, whether in public or in the home, avoiding discretionary travel, and avoiding eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts. He also recommended that all schools close.
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America:
15 Days to Slow the Spread
- Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
- If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
- If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
- If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
- If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
- If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
- Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
- Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
- If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
- Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
* School operations can accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. Governors of states with evidence of community transmission should close schools in affected and surrounding areas. Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states. In addition, state and local officials should close schools where coronavirus has been identified in the population associated with the school. States and localities that close schools need to address childcare needs of critical responders, as well as the nutritional needs of children.
** Older people are particularly at risk from the coronavirus. All states should follow Federal guidance and halt social visits to nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities.
*** In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.
1:04 p.m.: City Council Special Meeting Called
City of Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan has called a special meeting of the City Council to take place at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16 at City Hall. This meeting will replace the City Council meeting previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 at 5:30 p.m.
Normal rules will be suspended for today’s City Council session to streamline the meeting and limit Council, staff and public risk for exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. Old and some new business will be tabled and use of touchscreen voting technology will be suspended in favor of voice voting.
Items related to employee pay plan and single-use disposable bags will not be included on tonight’s agenda. Items tabled in tonight’s meeting will be moved to the next City Council meeting currently scheduled for April 7, 2020.
The agenda will include two additional items:
- An ordinance temporarily empowering the Mayor to regulate the gathering of 50 or more people in public or private places that serve the public and to locally enforce recommendations from health authorities including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Arkansas Department of Health, along with other actions deemed necessary to protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic
- A resolution appropriating emergency funds if additional funding is needed for city expenditures necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Fayetteville
Council Chambers will be modified to create at least six feet between Council members, in accordance with CDC guidelines for social distancing. Additionally, public seating will be spaced at least six feet apart, and additional seating will be available in City Hall Room 111. All attendees are asked to create at least six feet of space between themselves and other attendees as well as to sanitize hands prior to entering Council chambers.
This meeting will be live-streamed and recorded, and the public is encouraged to view the meeting online here to reduce potential exposure and transmission of COVID-19.
Governor’s update on travel, large gatherings and testing in Northwest Arkansas
Governor Hutchinson held a daily briefing at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, where he was joined by several state officials from public health and emergency management organizations. In light of the Arkansas Department of Health’s report of 22 positive cases in Arkansas, many of which are directly related to travel, Governor Hutchinson discourages against out-of-state travel to prevent additional exposure and spread of COVID-19.
He reiterated new CDC guidelines against indoor events and gatherings of more than 50 people in close proximity to one other. The Governor also warns that increased testing currently taking place across Northwest Arkansas will likely result in an increase in positive results across our region, and he reiterates the importance of social distancing and other methods of preventing community spread
Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center
Beginning March 17, the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center will suspend group meals, social programs, wellness classes, trips and activities for a two-week period. Its facility will be closed to the public, but home delivered meals and essential taxi services will continue. Hot lunches will be available for curbside drive-through pick up for clients who normally attend group meals. For more information, please call the Center at 479-571-2929 to register for the hot lunch program.
Request to grocery stores on behalf of senior citizens
Mayor Jordan encourages grocery and food stores to consider setting aside time blocks each day specifically for senior citizens to safely and comfortably make purchases. Many retailers across the country are implementing a “seniors shopping hour” directly after opening for the day, when stores are freshly cleaned and sanitized. This approach will help ensure that seniors – our most at-risk population for COVID-19 - have safe access to make the purchases they need, while reducing unnecessary exposure.
Online bill payments
Customers can make online payments 24/7 for a variety of invoices. Please visit the City’s payments page here.
March 15, 2020 Update:
The Arkansas Department of Health reports 16 positive COVID-19 cases in Arkansas as of today. In his daily media briefing, Governor Hutchinson ordered mandatory public school closure beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, with individual districts being allowed to close Monday if prepared to do so. School closures will be reevaluated after spring break. Please visit this Fayetteville Public Schools webpage for district information.
As an increased prevention method, commercial establishments open to the public are strongly encouraged to implement sanitizing and social distancing to reduce the potential for transmission in our community. This is especially important for establishments with high-volume traffic and those serving food and drink. Social distancing is the best method for preventing the spread of illness in our community because it reduces the opportunity for asymptomatic carriers – often those people who have the least health risk and feel the effects the least – to unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others who are at greater risk for complications.
Businesses and institutions in our community have already shown leadership by taking enhanced cleaning and sanitizing methods and proactively implementing social distancing by closing, reducing hours of operation or limiting/staggering customer traffic. The City commends these businesses for putting public and worker health and safety first. Mayor Jordan recognizes these efforts, applauds those who are taking action and encourages others to follow their lead.
“In addition to heightened cleaning and sanitizing efforts, many businesses and institutions across Fayetteville have made the difficult decision to close or reduce operations. Thank you for taking these important steps to help protect our community. I believe we have an obligation to take care of one another during this difficult time. I am grateful to each of you for setting a strong example for our business community and most importantly, for helping keep our people safe.
I also want to offer my sincere gratitude for the many medical professionals across our area who are working tirelessly to provide care to our people and raise awareness of how to protect ourselves and others. Thank you all for everything you are doing, and continue to do, to keep us healthy.”
- Mayor Jordan
The City has shared a list of COVID-19 Business Resources to help raise awareness of resources and information that may be available to help small businesses who are impacted during this time. It includes information on access to capital, local resource partners as well as CDC guidance for employers and businesses. This page will continue to be updated as new information pertaining to resources for businesses and impacted workers becomes available.
City Utility Disconnections and Late Fees Suspended:
To ensure uninterrupted access to utility services, the City of Fayetteville has temporarily suspended utility disconnections and late fees for unpaid utility bills. At this time, customers may still pay their utility bills using all previously available payment methods, including paying in person at City Hall. In-person payments are subject to change as new information on COVID-19 is evaluated.
City staff have also reached out to electric and gas company representatives and understand there will be more to announce from them soon.
Latest updates from local utility providers:
Internet and Connectivity:
Both Cox and AT&T have pledged to keep public Wi-Fi hot spots open and to waive late fees and non-payment service terminations during COVID-19.
- Cox Communications residential service information. Cox is offering fast-tracked access to internet at home for families in need as part of its Keeping America Connected program and in response to COVID-19. You can learn more, including how to apply, here.
- AT&T customer information. AT&T announced it will temporarily lift its data caps on broadband services to help support increases in working from home and learning from home.
- Ozarks Go information. OzarksGo is temporarily increasing the speed of its basic internet speed from 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps to help customers who are working and studying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning Monday March 16 at 10 a.m., Washington Regional Medical Center will open a COVID-19 screening clinic at 3318 N. North Hills Blvd. (this is not the hospital address) in Fayetteville. Hours of operations will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Learn more here.
March 14, 2020 Update:
Governor Asa Hutchinson held a media briefing today on how the State of Arkansas is responding to COVID-19. He was joined by a panel of officials who discussed the current number of presumed positive cases in Arkansas, how testing is managed, activation of the state’s Emergency Operations Center and ongoing coordination with organizations across the state who are working together to address and prevent the spread COVID-19. Governor Hutchinson also announced that he has activated the Arkansas National Guard to help with logistics, transportation, call center support and more on an as-needed basis.
March 13, 2020 Update: Mayor Jordan Declares a Public Health Emergency
Out of an abundance of caution, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan declared a Public Health Emergency for the city this morning, joining nationwide efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID19.
“This morning after much deliberation I have made the decision to declare a public health emergency,” Mayor Jordan said. “State law empowers me to do this. This action was not taken lightly, and I feel strongly I am doing what is best for the safety of our people. The recurring theme I have seen during my research into previous pandemics is “social distancing.” Keeping people apart is the most effective action a community can take to stop the spread of a virus. For that reason, I am postponing all city-hosted meetings and events until further notice. I strongly encourage individuals, groups, and organizations planning events and meetings to postpone, reschedule or move to a virtual environment. We are working diligently to develop a work schedule that will not jeopardize the city’s obligation to provide core services. Please continue to monitor our website as the information is changing hourly. I will be updating the media throughout the day on specific closings and services.”
From City Attorney Kit Williams:
Arkansas State Law Provides that “A local disaster emergency may be declared only by the chief executive … of a political subdivision.” A.C.A. §12-75-108 Local disaster emergencies-Declaration.
“(b)(1) The effect of a declaration of a local disaster emergency is to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local or interjurisdictional disaster emergency plans, to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance thereunder, and to initiate emergency management functions under this chapter.”
This State Law authorizes Mayor Jordan to suspend some local regulatory ordinances such as zoning, development and building regulations and “Any other regulatory type ordinances.” This last catch-all phase would provide authority for Mayor Jordan to cancel or suspend existing permits for parades and events which could increase the spread of the coronavirus.
March 12, 2020 update:
The City of Fayetteville implemented several actions today to help reduce unnecessary risk of exposure and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Mayor Jordan has issued the following guidelines, effective immediately for all City Staff:
- Air travel for business purposes has been suspended for all City staff. This guideline will be re-evaluated at the end of March.
- City staff business travel out of state by car will be evaluated by managers based on meeting location and group size and must be approved by the Chief of Staff and the Mayor.
- Staff currently out of state on business travel will self-monitor their temperature and health upon return, for a period of no less than 14 days.
- Staff are encouraged to use caution and good judgment when engaged in personal travel to or through regions with confirmed cases.
- Staff should continue practicing preventative measures as outlined by the CDC.
The City is also evaluating staffing levels required to ensure the continuation of core service. City Staff are encouraged to consider virtual meetings in place of face-to-face meetings with multiple attendees.
On service calls, first responders are taking steps to reduce exposure risks and protect core services. They are equipped with personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, with additional equipment on the way. First responders are limiting direct contact with community members during emergency response events, especially in long-term care homes where residents have an elevated health risk and are more susceptible to COVID-19. By limiting unnecessary exposure during service calls, responders likewise reduce the potential for unknowingly transmitting the illness to others.
At this time, the City is reviewing upcoming meetings and events and considering whether these should continue as scheduled for the immediate future. Individuals, groups and organizations currently planning to hold private events are urged to prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors and consider postponing or rescheduling events to a later date. This approach is subject to change based on new information about COVID-19.
Fayetteville Police and Fire officials have been working with the Washington County Department of Emergency Management and Arkansas Department of Health to help prepare and educate emergency responders for emergencies such as COVID-19. Representatives from local schools, businesses, the University of Arkansas, ambulance services, regional health care facilities and emergency responders are involved in preparations for this situation as well.
Additional information and resources on preventing the spread of this illness is available at http://www.CDC.gov.