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Information, Health and Food Help During COVID-19 Outbreak in Arkansas

Woman receiving grocery delivery.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Arkansas is providing information and resources to help older Arkansans and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and help prevent it from spreading to others.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered all state residents to stay home except for essential needs like food, medicine, healthcare and getting to jobs that are considered critical.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider or local public health department to figure out if you could — and should — get tested. Signs of the virus are a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. (Read more about coronavirus and how to stay safe.)

Among other providers, Arkansas public health labs in the state are administering COVID-19 tests.

Connect to Community Resources in Arkansas:

We may be isolated, but we don’t have to be alone. AARP Community Connections is a new website that offers steps to find help – or give it – during the coronavirus pandemic. We are looking for volunteers to create online Mutual Aid sites for their communities, or join one that already exists and help us share resources with those in need or who just want to connect.

To learn more or visit aarpcommunityconnections.org.

Up-to-date state and local health information:

  • The Arkansas Department of Public Health offers updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources and contact information.
  • For medical, food and recovery services and information, call your local 211.

Arkansas Fraud alerts:

  • To stay updated on local fraud alerts and scams related to COVID-19, visit the Arkansas Attorney General website. If you are contacted by fraudsters, you can also report that information online or by phone.

Food assistance resources:

  • If financial difficulty is a barrier to food, find your closest food bank and other food assistance programs in your area.
  • Meals on Wheels: Obtain delivery of balanced meals for a nominal cost if you’re in Arkansas.

Grocery stores to know about:

  • Whole Foods: Shoppers age 60 and up can shop at stores for one hour before they open to the general public. Store hours vary by location. If a store is scheduled to open at 9 a.m., older shoppers can go from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Kroger: In some areas, we’re now opening one hour early, to enable senior citizens and other high-risk groups to shop before we open to the public. We’ll continue to evaluate these special hours and make changes as we learn more. You can find the most up-to-date information about your store here.
  • Target: Shoppers age 60 and up can shop at stores for one hour before they open to the general public. Store hours vary by location. If a store is scheduled to open at 9 a.m., older shoppers can go from 8 to 9 a.m.

Health assistance resources:

Unemployment benefits:

  • If your employer reduced your hours or shut down due to the virus, you can file for unemployment insurance online, by phone, fax, or mail. If you expect to eventually return to work you don't have to be actively seeking work during the outbreak. But you must be “able and available for work” to get these benefits, for up to six months.

More on Coronavirus

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