State Representative Vivian Flowers (HD17-Pine Bluff) has been confirmed as the second member of the Arkansas Legislature to have tested positive for COVID-19. The Arkansas House recently met for a three-day special session to address budget shortfalls related to the impact of the virus. Flowers’s case joins that of Rep. Reginald Murdock, representing portions of the Delta including Marianna and Forrest City.
There has been no further testing efforts of lawmakers announced at this time. The Legislature is set to reconvene April 8th for its Fiscal Session, which is also expected to deal with severe budget shortfalls related to COVID-19. It’s also a rare opportunity for lawmakers to propose solutions to the economic pains facing Arkansas workers and families, including: a moratorium on rent/evictions; paid sick leave; increased spending on senior centers and community healthcare; and real help at the unemployment office.
Arkansas State Representative Reginald Murdock and Representative Vivian Flowers have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. “I’ve spoken to both of them and they are not exhibiting any symptoms, which is the scary thing,” said Michael Gray, chairman with the Democratic Party of Arkansas. “How many of us are walking around that are affected that do not have any symptoms?”
State Representative Vivian Flowers of District 17 noticed her unending cough last week. She didn’t have a fever, so she thought it was allergies. “I had no reason to believe that I wasn’t safe, but it just so happens that I had the virus during the session,” said Rep. Flowers. “So, I think it’s super important that people who have been around me, whether it’s been six feet or beyond, to know there is a risk.”
Earlier this week, Rep. Flowers began to have aches all over her body and she began to run a high fever. She got tested on Tuesday, and she found out her results 36 hours later. Flowers will continue her quarantine for at least 11 more days. She said she is currently not exhibiting any symptoms.