Keeping tabs on the coronavirus pandemic
County leaders making moves to address COVID-19 crisis
By RALPH HARDIN
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the nation and the state, and Crittenden County is no exception.
Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless has been busy, despite being under the weather himself, offering information to the public about the state of things here and elsewhere.
“This afternoon during the Governors daily press conference at 1:30 p.m., he gave an update on the total positive cases in the state,” Wheeless said on Thursday. “The total today is 584 and that’s an increase of 61 new positive cases since yesterday. The state death total is 10 and that’s an increase of 2 from yesterday. The 2 new deaths were individuals over the age of 65.”
Out of the 584 positive cases, 84 of those are healthcare workers.
“We pray for their protection as they are on the front lines in this invisible war,” Wheeless said.
Crittenden County currently has 29 positive cases, nearly doubling in less than 48 hours.
“That number is an increase of 12 from yesterday,” said Wheeless. “The county also has 197 negative cases with numerous tests pending, awaiting results. Those individuals who have been tested and waiting on their results were instructed to go home and self quarantine.”
Statewide, numbers have spiked.
“Currently 56 of the 584 people are in hospitals across the state with 25 of them on ventilators, “ Wheeless reported. “Nursing homes across the state currently have 51 positive cases.”
Wheeless said health officials are continually updating figures and stressing healthy preventative measures for everyone.
“In my opinion, the number of people in the hospital and those on ventilators are the most important numbers,” said Wheeless. “We continue to see increases in those numbers and that’s a potential concern.”
See PANDEMIC, page A3
From page A1
The breakdown of the 584 positive cases are as follows:
■ ■ 18 are children (0-18)
■ ■ 396 are adults between the ages of 19 and 64
■ ■ 170 are adults older than 65 years of age
■ ■ The trend continues with females having the most positives.
■ ■ 60 percent of all the cases are female
■ ■ 40 percent of all the cases are male According to the Governor, the state has performed 7,124 tests so far. During the past 24 hours, 903 tests have been performed statewide.
“As always, please continue to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet and washing your hands,” Wheeless said. “No groups larger than 10 and according to the Health Secretary, basketball games in general should not be permitted because of the close contact.”
Today, the Governor along with the State Parks decided to close all state parks at dark. The reasoning for this is because of all the out of state people visiting our parks. The Governor stated that 60 percent of all visitors currently are coming from other states.
In West Memphis, Mayor Marco McClendon has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement the guidance, and communicate with our community.
Mayor McClendon’s COVID-19 Task Force was formed earlier this month to help make well-informed decisions and communicate the latest updates and actions taken by the city to ensure the continued health and safety of our community. The task force meets weekly to synthesize the latest information, consult with experts, analyze risk, and provide situational reports in the city of West Memphis. The health and well-being of our city is our top priority.
“We are in the midst of the storm but I have no doubt that we are covered,” said McClendon. “Yes, we do have some cases here but we must continue to pray and follow the CDC precautions. If you don’t have to be out please don’t go! This is a serious pandemic that doesn’t discriminate on race, sex or age. Please don’t panic but take the necessary precautions. Our stores are not closing any time soon.”
McClendon stressed calm and common sense.
“I ask that you please be responsible with what you write on social media. I have heard we’re giving false information, we are on a curfew, speculations about who has it and untrue remedies and cures. False information could incite unnecessary fear in this county. My entire family is here, I promise you I will not give false information. We are not on curfew or shutdown.”
The mayor noted the positivity he seen in the community.
“I want to thank all of those who are donating, getting involved and helping to make a difference during this time of need,” he said. “I smile and rejoice when I see Facebook blowing up with God posts and challenges. This is what he want, keep loving your neighbor and remember This too shall pass.”
While McClendon has not issued any “stay at home” orders, he is urging residents to avoid being out late. On Wednesday, the mayor asked everyone to start going home at 9 p.m. to help speed up the decline of the COVID-19 virus in West Memphis.
“As you go in for the night make sure you are practicing our 9 p.m. routine by removing the valuables from your vehicles and locking the doors,” he said. “Let’s all work together to make West Memphis virus and crime free.”
For more information on COVID-19 visit the Arkansas Department of Health at www.healthy.arkansas.gov. Data for all 50 states and worldwide data can be found at www.worldometers.info/ coronavirus/.