By Ray King

With Governor Asa Hutchinson in Washington Wednesday for a meeting with President Donald Trump, State Health Officer Dr. Nate Smith conducted the daily COVID-19 press briefing and spent a great deal of time talking about work site safety.

Smith said the department has put out a number of directives and guidelines to businesses in general and also to specific industries.

“Some of these directives seem somewhat restrictive at times and we’ve had complaints, but these really are designed to make work sites safer,” he said. “To protect both the people working there as well as the people who come in as customers.”

Smith said some of the directives are a “bit restrictive. They’re not the way we usually do things but these are really important not just to protect people from getting infected with COVID-19 but also for our economy to recover by making those work sites safe.”

In the daily report, Smith said there are currently 5,003 cases of COVID-19 in the state with 107 deaths. A total of 1,044 people have recovered from the virus.