Mississippi County has first confirmed COVID case

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Source: Arkansas Department of Health website (as of Friday afternoon)

Thursday afternoon, Blytheville Mayor James Sanders held a press conference where he announced that Mississippi County has confirmed one case of COVID-19.

Mississippi County Judge John Alan Nelson said the infected individual lives in the 72315 zip code (Blytheville area).

During Thursday’s press conference, Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson said first responders have not been given the location of the individual infected with the virus.

“There has been a positive case of COVID-19 in Mississippi County. I want to reiterate the seriousness of what we are seeing here today. Those of you that had the idea that this wasn’t something that was close to you, you do without a doubt need to take precautions on this,” Mayor Sanders said.

There have been 22 negative tests in the county as of Friday afternoon. Laura Thaxton, who is with the Mississippi Health Department, said that a nurse has been designated to the confirmed individual, and any persons that are reported to have been in contact with the individual will be contacted with quarantine instructions.

“When it comes to getting a positive case in an area we do have a team of nurses that work on this seven days a week, all positive and negative lab results are reported to the Arkansas Department of Health, whether they come from an outside lab or our own lab,” said Thaxton.

“When these cases are reported that are positive a nurse is assigned to work that case, this nurse follows up by contacting the individual that has tested positive and works with them on identifying anybody that has been in close contact with them,” Thaxton continued. “Then these individuals are contacted and are asked to quarantine for 14 days and they are asked to monitor for any signs of symptoms fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough or those things. We also ask that if you were in close contact with a positive case, that you go and contact your physician and let them know.”

Thaxton advised those who may need to be tested for COVID-19 to reach out to their physician or local hospital emergency room.

“If anyone feels that they need to be tested or have any symptoms, you need to contact your local physician or the hospital emergency room and they can help you with that,” said Thaxton.

Sanders said,“As I stated to you before and there should be information going on the city’s website to discuss the directive order that has been placed by Governor Asa Hutchinson in regards to what the cities need to do and what preventative actions we need to take during these times.”

No additional limitations have been placed for Blytheville residents regarding curfews or any other restrictions.

Another press conference was to be held Friday afternoon with additional information.

To view Thursday's press conference, please click https://www.facebook.com/NEATCOURIER/videos/242367183557728/