|COVID-19 Update | October 28, 2020
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Tomorrow morning at 9:00AM CT, I am hosting a Facebook LIVE session about COVID-19’s impact on active service members and veterans in Arkansas. I look forward to hearing from Director Rob "Gator" Ator about what Arkansas has been doing to keep our forces combat-ready even in the face of COVID-19 as well as discussing how we can help those who have served from my Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, David Carnahan.
Since this pandemic began, my veterans team has been serving our heroes and ensuring that they continue to have access to the care and benefits they earned by putting their lives on the line for our country.
It is always good to be with members of Ducks Unlimited, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR).
Yesterday, we visited Henry Gray/Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management Area in White County to discuss threats to the health of Arkansas’ flooded timber, which is famous for its world class duck hunting. Flooded timber is vital to waterfowl and Arkansas’s economy and hunting culture, and there is an emerging public-private partnership to preserve this legacy for future generations.
Thank you to my good friends, Rep. Westerman, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Executive Director Pat Fitts, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Chair Andrew Parker, and Past President of Ducks Unlimited George Dunklin for the informative tour, and for your work conserving some of what makes Arkansas the state we love.
Yesterday morning, I met with my Veterans Advisory Council virtually to hear the challenges that our central Arkansas veterans are facing.
My Veterans Advisory Council, established in May 2015, allows me to talk directly to veterans across central Arkansas and facilitate a constructive dialogue about the issues they are facing in our communities.
We covered my Women’s Veteran Initiative, job opportunities for Arkansas veterans in the manufacturing industry, how the current health crisis has impacted them personally, and the steps we must take to provide additional assistance.
Telehealth services in response to COVID-19 have served as a lifeline to healthcare for many in our state, including many of our veterans. While there is still room for improvement, this form of medical consultation will benefit the physical and mental health of our veterans, throughout the remainder of this health crisis and beyond.
These quarterly meetings are designed to be an open forum for central Arkansas veterans to discuss veteran related issues. The council meetings ensure that the veterans in Arkansas’s Second District are having their voices heard.
Improving the lives of Arkansas veterans on the home front has been a top priority since I have been in Congress. Throughout this pandemic, my team of three combat veterans has been delivering solutions for central Arkansas veterans. Many of our heroes have been impacted by the closing of the local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offices and Veterans Benefits Administration offices for health care and other services, as well as feeling the isolating effects of social distancing.
Through these challenging times, my veterans team stands with their peers and is helping veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned while serving our country.
Recently, I took to the House Floor to recognize the patriotic contributions of Darrell Wood during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this summer, Benton Mayor, Tom Farmer, noticed a street adorned with American flags.
Over the coming weeks, Mayor Farmer noticed more and more flags appearing around the city until nearly every street in the area was decorated. After asking local citizens, Mayor Farmer determined that Darrell Wood was responsible for the patriotic display.
To show their appreciation, Mayor Farmer and the Benton City Council formally honored Darrell for his contributions to the community with a commemorative plaque.
The beautiful sight of these flags has even inspired others in the community to add more of their own.
Darrell Wood's actions have served as a bright light in these trying times and I thank him for his selfless service to his city.
If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath OR if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, testing is available in Arkansas.
Call ahead to your health care provider or schedule a test at a local health unit, HERE.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, testing capacity for COVID-19 at commercial labs has increased significantly over the past week. This means a shorter turnaround time for results for you.
The health units, which are located in every county in the state, are now open from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
In addition, local health units across Arkansas are open later on Tuesdays so that services including flu vaccinations and COVID-19 tests are available after normal business hours.
You can find a full list of local health unit COVID-19 testing locations HERE.
You also should know that test providers must publish the cash price of tests on their websites so that Arkansans are not faced with surprise charges related to COVID-19 testing.
It is my honor to represent you in Congress.
Please contact me at (501) 324-5941 or Hill.House.Gov if I may be of service to you.
Representative French Hill