Arkansas cities, counties may now apply for coronavirus aid

FILE - In this March 23, 2020 file photo, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, right, speaks in Little Rock Ark. Gov. Hutchinson is resisting issuing a broad stay-at-home order to curb the coronavirus outbreak, even as the state's cases continue to increase. Health officials on Thursday, March 2, 2020, said the number of coronavirus cases in the state had risen to at least 643, with two additional deaths. (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Cities, towns and counties in Arkansas may now apply for funding from the state’s share of the federal coronavirus relief program. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced Saturday that $75 million is available to cities and towns and $75 million to counties for reimbursement of costs associated with expenses related to their response to the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible expenses include payroll for public health and safety employees; public health expenses; and personal protective equipment. The state health department on Saturda reported 98,422 total cases, including both confirmed and probable cases, an 1,684 deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.