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Barbershops and barbershops in Arkansas may reopen by next Wednesday as the state continues to ease restrictions on businesses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s announcement on Friday came as a total of 3,321 people tested positive for the virus in the state, while 64 people have died from COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters at a daily briefing, Hutchinson said other cosmetology-related businesses may reopen on May 6.

“And this lifting of the restrictions applies to barber, cosmetology, massage therapy, body art and medical spa services; all individual commitments, and that’s of course why we put the restrictions on. start, ”Hutchinson said.

Under guidelines set by the Arkansas Department of Health, small facilities will be limited to 10 clients at a time, or no more than 30% of working workspaces at a time for large companies. Clients and staff will be required to wear face masks, and clients are encouraged to wait outside for appointments.

Customers will need to make an appointment and record their names and contact details to facilitate potential contact tracing inquiries. Cosmetology schools will also remain closed until further notice.

The death toll from COVID-19 has increased by three with 66 more cases of coronavirus added since Thursday. Health Secretary Dr Nate Smith said five of the new cases were from Forrest City Federal Correctional Facility, where 135 inmates tested positive for the virus.

Smith said just over a third of the 64 people who died from COVID-19 were nursing home residents. The number of people hospitalized for the disease in Arkansas was unchanged on Friday at 95.

Restrictions on gyms and restaurants are also due to be lifted over the next two weeks, Commerce Secretary Mike Preston said workers uncomfortable returning to work cannot continue to receive unemployment benefits.

“If they’ve been offered their jobs and they choose not to, it’s on their own initiative. And then it is up to the employer to inform the Department of Workforce Services that this employee refuses to return to work and therefore if they continue to claim their benefits … it is a claim. fraudulent for us, and we will follow that up, ”Preston said.

Preston said the state is currently testing its system to provide pandemic unemployment assistance payments to self-employed Arkansans, which he says should be available in the coming days.

Dr Michelle Smith, director of the Office of Health Equity and HIV Elimination at the Arkansas Department of Health, said the department is partnering with the Black Hall of Fame Foundation of the Arkansas as part of its COVID-19 relief initiative.

“Under this project, numerous grants of up to $ 1,000 will be awarded to organizations facing hardships due to COVID-19,” Smith said. “We look forward to helping them identify where the need exists most, so that resources can be quickly released to those areas.”

Smith said the Department of Health will also host a webinar on May 5 to help familiarize barber and barber shop owners with the state’s new public health guidelines.

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