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Arkansas governor says shelter-in-place 'always an option on the table'

Arkansas governor says shelter-in-place 'always an option on the table'

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonSunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Arkansas governor: Intelligence on state capitol protests 'not to the level that I'm bringing out the National Guard' Sunday shows preview: Washington prepares for an inauguration and impeachment; coronavirus surges across the US MORE (R) defended his decision to hold off on issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, arguing on Sunday that the state’s “targeted approach” has been effective but adding further measures are still an option going forward. 

“If we need to do more we will do more, [it’s] always an option on the table if we have to shelter-in-place,” Hutchinson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  “Right now what we're doing proves to be successful.” 

Hutchinson is one of a few governors who has yet to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, he opted for a so-called “targeted approach,” and said he’s focussing on asking Arkansans to wear masks and practice social distancing. 

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He said the people of Arkansas have embraced the measures. 

Asked if he thinks other governors have gone too far by issuing stay-at-home orders, Hutchinson said “not at all.” 

“It just reflects the flexibility a state needs. I applaud New Jersey and New York, they've had to really lock down,” he said, adding that the two hardest hit states have a higher population density than Arkansas. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE pressed Hutchinson, asking him why he’s limited localities to take measures to issue stay-at-home orders not in that Little Rock has a higher density population. 

“We have a good partnership with mayors,” Hutchinson responded, adding that he negotiated where helpful for mayors to put in place curfews or close parks as needed. 

Arkansas’s health department reported 1,226 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths, as of Saturday. 

Hutchinson said the state has about 80 hospitalized cases and 8,000 available hospital beds.