LITTLE ROCK, AR — In a press conference on Monday morning, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced an expansion of Phase 1-B of the COVID-19 vaccine to include several new groups. In addition to adding those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and government employees, houses of worship were also included on the list of eligibility.
The group referenced in “houses of worship” was unclear initially, however the Arkansas Department of Health later clarified in an email sent to the Arkansas Baptist News. According to the ADH, Houses of Worship are defined as operating religious organizations – such as churches, religious temples, and monasteries – and administering an organized religion or promoting religious activities. They added that clergy, pastors, ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, other faith leaders for houses of worship were included in this addition. They also noted that this category does not include all members of a congregation or place of worship.
While certain parameters of this addition are still unclear, the ADH referenced their COVID hotline for those seeking further clarification. The hotline can be reached at 1-800-803-7847. Additionally, the ADH has provided a website to find the vaccine location nearest you.