Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson issued a curfew order on behalf of Jefferson County on Tuesday morning, hours before Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced COVID-19 cases in the state had increased to 946 during his daily coronavirus update.

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson issued a curfew order on behalf of Jefferson County on Tuesday morning, hours before Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced COVID-19 cases in the state had increased to 946 during his daily coronavirus update.
The cases include 134 healthcare workers and 61 nursing home residents.
Out of the 946 cases, 74 are hospitalized and 26 are on ventilators.
With the rapid spread of COVID-19 and Jefferson County ranking amongst the top 5 counties totaling 69 positive cases according to ADH, city leaders are mandating directives to decrease the spread.
Effective immediately, Jefferson County enforced a curfew to discourage public gatherings. 
“This is a part of the county’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Robison in the release.
According to the release, between the hours of 9:00 pm and 5:00 am, all non-essential travel will be prohibited. Residents should not leave their homes unless they are shopping for groceries or food, traveling to a gas station, commuting for work, seeking medical treatment, or caring for a relative. 
A curfew for minors under the age of eighteen will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the same exceptions.
“The school children should stay inside unless accompanied by an adult,” said Robinson. “We want parents to make sure they are using this time constructively.”
Robinson explains that based on projections from public health officials and the Governor, the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen in the next few weeks if social distancing guidelines are not followed. 
ADH Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said during Tuesday’s press conference, that based on one of the modules, Arkansas is expected to peak around April 24.
Robinson says public gatherings of 10 people or more have been prohibited by the Governor until further notice and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will strictly enforce this order throughout the community.
Arkansas State Police Director Colonel Bryant said the Arkansas State Police would be stepping in to help any agency who needs their services.
“I’m glad to report the majority of Arkansans have followed that advice but this is a serious matter and in certain circumstances we’ve had some citizens who blatantly disregarded these directives,” said Bryant. “By statue the Arkansas State Police is an assisting agency. This goes for every police department, every sheriff’s department in this state, if you need assistance from the Arkansas State Police, we are there.”
Bryant says some of the violations they have seen not only violate the health directive but also falls under some criminal statutes that can carry stiffer criminal penalties.
“The directives are very plain, common sense approach to this public health emergency but we’re prepared for those people who do not follow those common sense directives or the law,” said Bryant. “Enforcement action will be taken. I urge everybody to use good common sense, good judgement and we have to get through this together.”
The order for Jefferson County will remain in effect even outside of local curfew hours.
Non-essential businesses, restaurants, organizations, and faith organizations are encouraged to follow this directive.
“Whenever we hear about a violation or somebody not following the guidelines, they can first call our Department of Health hotline and that way they can deal with it at a public health stand point,” said Smith. “If they still have issues the law enforcement can be called in.”
Smith also stated those who violate quarantine and self-isolation guidelines would be served an order from attorneys, which he admits to signing them on a regular basis.
“We work with local law enforcement when we need to,” said Smith.
County Judge Gerald Robinson stated a lot of COVID-19 tests are being administered, and most of their tests are coming back negative.
“However, numbers can change drastically overnight. Therefore, we want to be as aggressively proactive as we can,” said Robinson. “The Coronavirus is a global pandemic and poses a significant risk to the health and safety of the entire world. The city is committed to working with public health officials, law enforcement agents, and government personnel on the federal, state, and county level to protect and keep our community safe.”