Workers at Arkansas' poultry plants and other food manufacturing facilities are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday, in a move that opens up access to the vaccine for another 49,000 people.
Hutchinson made the announcement as state health officials reported the first case in Arkansas of someone infected with United Kingdom variant of the virus.
Arkansas has already made the vaccine available to people at least 65 years old, teachers, health care workers, law enforcement and nursing home employees and residents.
Hutchinson said he believed the state will have enough of a supply of the vaccine to expand it to food manufacturing workers. He also noted earlier in the pandemic the state had seen spikes in cases connected to some processing facilities.
The Department of Health on Tuesday reported Arkansas' virus cases rose by 440 to a total of 322,949 since the pandemic began. The state's covid-19 deaths rose by four to 5,254, while hospitalizations dropped by 25 to 416.
-The Associated Press
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state health officials will provide an update on Arkansas' covid-19 response at 1:30 p.m.
The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas remained at 322,509 Tuesday morning, according to a state website. The death toll remained at 5,250.
Check back to watch the live video.