Arkansas' governor announces dine-in restaurant reopening; reports additional deaths

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 2:03 PM CDT
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Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his plan to resume dine-in restaurant operations in the state.

The governor explained the reopening of restaurants in phases. Phase 1 begins on May 11. It requires restaurants to use personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves. The restaurant may only seat up to 33% of its occupancy in the first phase. Phase 2 would slowly increase seating. Phase 3 would reopen restaurants for 100% dining occupancy.

The state is offering $15 million in grants to help businesses reopen. The program is called "Ready for Business." The grants would pay for PPE for employees.

The state announced another 81 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,192. Health leaders announced an additional seven deaths, bringing the state's total to 59.