Like many of you, we are monitoring the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak very closely. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our members and social workers and the clients and communities you serve. We know many of you have questions about disease transmission and treatment, as well as the NASW Arkansas upcoming annual conference.
DISEASE TRANSMISSION AND TREATMENT
- COVID-19 is generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person.
- Stay home if you have influenza-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or if you’ve travelled to countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Alert (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and most of Europe) within the past 14 days.
- Avoid touching your face (nose, mouth, and eyes), even when it’s hard.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (upgrade your handwashing by singing or humming the chorus to one of these popular songs) or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Although no vaccine for COVID-19 currently exists, US health insurers are committed to covering full cost of coronavirus testing, counseling, and treatment.
NASW ARKANSAS 2020 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Due to the recent developments regarding COVID-19, multi-county school closings, Governor Hutchinson’s Executive Order to Declare an Emergency for the state, and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.’s announcement today of a declaration for emergency for the city of Little Rock, we must cancel our upcoming annual conference scheduled for March 24-27, 2020. This includes canceling the 2020 NASW Arkansas Social Work Advocates’ Dinner (March 26, 2020) and the Annual Awards Luncheon (March 27, 2020).
While we are disappointed to have to make this decision, we took into consideration the following factors in our decision to not put the public at further risk by having the conference:
- the size of our conference (600+ attendees);
- it is within the 2 week timeframe that schools are closed with Pulaski and surrounding counties;
- many of our conference attendees, speakers, and exhibitors come from across the country;
- many of our attendees are in medical settings; and
- many will be impacted by the public and private school closings and need to focus their attention and resources on that.
You can view any of Governor’s Hutchinson’s press conferences on his YouTube channel.
REFUNDS – NASW ARKANSAS 2020 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
We will begin issuing refunds and ask for your patience as we do so. REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED AUTOMATICALLY. You do not need to call or email the office to request a refund. Reducing the number of phone calls to return and emails to answer will help us issue refunds as quickly as possible since we are a small office. Thank you for your help and understanding with this!
If you made payment by credit card, the refund will go back to your original form of payment and could take 7-10 days to process. If you made payment by check, the process may take a little longer as we will have to request a refund through our national office. We will update you if there’s a change regarding processing refunds for payments by check.
CANCELING HOTEL ROOMS – LITTLE ROCK MARRIOTT ONLY
If you made a hotel reservation using the NASW Arkansas Hotel Room Reservation link, or by phone and asked to be booked with our group at the Little Rock Marriott, they have requested that you hold off on canceling that reservation for a moment. They are able to cancel all rooms booked in our block without you having to call, which would ease services for them as they are overwhelmed with calls. If you don’t get a cancelation notice by email within a few days, you should call and check on the cancelation. If you made a hotel reservation elsewhere, you are free to cancel at any time.
FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CEUS
We know that many rely on the conference for continuing education units as they prepare to renew their licenses. We are looking into ways to make presentations available via livestream webinars and will update you about those opportunities once they have been developed. If you have questions regarding licensure, please contact the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board at 501-372-5071.
OTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
On Friday, National NASW put out a practice alert for social workers concerned about the spread of COVID-19. This helpful webpage contains reliable information about COVID-19, information on supporting clients, preparing your private practice, prevention measures, impacts on older adults, self-care, and more.
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be your go-to resources to remain updated about the novel coronavirus outbreak:
- ADH: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus
- CDC: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
Thank you all for the work that you do to enhance the well-being of clients and communities across Arkansas.
NASW Arkansas Executive Director
Johanna Thomas, PhD, LMSW
NASW Arkansas Board President
Ruth Fissel, LCSW
NASW Arkansas 2020 Annual Conference Chair
P.S. See a message that went out this morning from NASW’s President Kathryn Conley Wehrmann