Arkansas State Capitol

Secretary of State John Thurston, constitutional caretaker of the Capitol, announced this afternoon that it would be closed to the public as a response to coronavirus.

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His announcement:

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic announcement yesterday, the measure taken in Washington, D.C. today along with the very recent report from Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Secretary of State John Thurston is ordering the closure of the Arkansas State Capitol to the public, effective Friday, March 13, 2020. Only authorized personnel will be permitted to enter the building for work purposes. Updates to the building’s status will be made available as we continue to monitor the situation.

The Secretary of State’s Office will also not be accepting walk-in visitors to their Business & Commercial Services offices in Little Rock and Fayetteville until further notice.  Business services can still be conducted by phone or online.

I wonder if authorized persons include those very special lobbyists and legislative pals who got the special passes to bypass screening. I’ve sent a question about this, length of the shutdown and the reason for a drastic step to Thurston’s office. Will update with any response.

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