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Arkansas receives first shipment of at-home COVID tests, more funding requested for hospital beds

The governor didn't announce where exactly the newly acquired COVID tests will be distributed.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has now received more than  200,000 of the 1.5 million rapid at-home COVID-19 tests requested by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The tests will be given to Arkansans for free at local libraries, public health units and other various locations.

The governor's office did not say where precisely the newly acquired 211,000 tests will be distributed but says the National Guard will be assisting in the delivery of them.

Gov. Hutchinson also requested $50 million be distributed to hospitals around the state to fund extra beds to help with the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations. This request was approved by the Arkansas American Rescue Plan Act Steering Committee, and the disbursement of this funding requires legislative approval. 

The proposed plan includes adding 98 COVID ICU beds and 167 COVID medical beds to be funded for timelines of 28-45 days based on the recommendations from the Arkansas Department of Health. The hospitals which will receive those beds are: 

  • St. Bernards Medical Center 
  • Mercy - Rogers
  • Conway Regional
  • SVI - LR
  • SVI - Hot Springs
  • Washington Regional 
  • Unity Health - White County
  • Baptist Health - Conway
  • Baptist Health - Van Buren
  • Mercy - Fort Smith
  • Arkansas Children's 

RELATED: Arkansas reports over 4,700 new COVID cases, 10 more deaths

RELATED: Free at-home COVID tests: Reimbursement details, monthly limits

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