The escalation of coronavirus precautions reminds me of big snow days — the long lists of closures become superfluous. More important is what remains open.

In that vein, a few examples:

  • OAKLAWN PARK: The racetrack in Hot Springs will continue racing today, Saturday and Sunday without spectators. However, the adjoining casino will remain open. Casinos in Pine Bluff and West Memphis are still welcoming people to pull slot handles, roll dice and handle cards.
  • PULASKI COUNTY GOVERNMENT: County Judge Barry Hyde closed the county administration building to visits until further notice. More details here on reaching county services. The county also operates the county courthouse. It remains open to the public. I suspect Hyde would have met judicial system resistance in ordering a halt to court visitors.
  • STATE CAPITOL: Only legislators and others with permission will be allowed o enter. The secretary of state’s office refuses to answer my question about access for lobbyists and other insiders favored with cards to bypass security.

I asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson for a comment on the Capitol closing by Secretary of State John Thurston. His response: through a spokesman

“We will remain open for business and will continue to conduct business in the Governor’s office.”

I got no response to my question of what happens to people who’d like to do business with his office in person.


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