Blytheville fireman in self-quarantine

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Blytheville firefighter is in self-quarantine and has been tested for COVID-19, according to Blytheville Fire Chief Mike Carney.

“This is going to be my first day making this comment,” Carney said during Monday’s press conference. “We are not 100 percent healthy right now. We have had a member of our department, he is actually in self-quarantine right now. He actually encountered secondary contact with an individual who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Now with that being said he isn’t showing any symptoms; obviously, we have ordered him to stay home and self-quarantine. He has been tested, I think today. He went ahead and got tested.”

Carney continued, “We will be getting those results in the next few days, but this will be the first. I believe the Blytheville PD has went through this here the last few weeks off and on, but this is going to be the first for the fire department. So, we are going to deal with it accordingly, but obviously we can’t take a chance here.”

Both Chief Carney and Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson also commended Nucor- Yamato Steel for donating 2,100 N95 masks to the police and fire departments Monday morning.

“I’d like to give a shoutout to Nucor. Nucor donated several thousand masks to the Blytheville police and fire departments (Monday morning). We can’t thank them enough,” Thompson explained. “That was actually one of the things when I did some inventory Friday, before I left, I noticed that our mask supply was almost depleted. So, the masks that they were able to obtain for us and give to us is a huge boost for us. We can’t thank them enough for thinking of us. When they had the opportunity to get some of these and without hesitation brought them to us.”

Carney added, “Big thank you for Nucor - (Nucor-Yamato Vice President) Thaddeus (Solomon) and the Nucor family. Great timing on bringing those masks. We, just like everyone else, are depleting our inventory of masks. So thank you so much. That was fantastic timing.”

Blytheville Mayor James Sanders thanked Nucor and all of the companies that collaborate with the city of Blytheville.

Sanders also stated that Friday afternoon he joined in on a conference call with U.S. Senator John Boozman, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin and Arkansas municipal officials. He added it went well.

The mayor said the conference call included municipalities across Arkansas and discussion centered on the shortfall in funds related to the coronavirus.

“We don’t have those numbers in front of us but it is better for us to look out and see where we are in anticipation and try to prevent that shortfall or find ways of recoveries that the state may even be able to help us,” said Sanders.

A press release from Griffin’s office states, “Arkansas's mayors and cities are on the front lines dealing with the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, and it's important we keep the lines of communication open with them to help address problems and combat this pandemic. Many communities have been impacted by severe weather and storm damage on top of the COVID-19 crisis, and I appreciate their continued leadership during these uncertain times. I am committed to doing everything I can to support them and assist as we work to move the state out of this time of crisis."

As of press deadline Tuesday afternoon, there were 3,469 cases in Arkansas with 2,041 recoveries and 80 deaths. In Mississippi County there are 23 positives with nine recoveries and no deaths. There have also been 232 negative cases.

Sanders also touched on the 2020 Census and pleaded with citizens to fill out their 2020 Census. Parks Director Cody Wyatt stated Mississippi County’s response rate is 42.2, whereas, the city of Blytheville is 41.6.

The mayor will hold another press conference today (Wednesday) at 3 p.m. State Representative Monte Hodges is slated to address concerns both at the state level and within banking.