County sees nearly 300 COVID cases

Saturday, October 31, 2020

In his Wednesday COVID-19 report, Blytheville Mayor James Sanders reported that Mississippi County’s active cases increased by 72 over the past week, bringing the total to 296.

At press time Friday, the number of active cases in the county was 245. Total cumulative cases was 2,338; recovered cases totaled 2,025. There have been 68 deaths in the county related to COVID-19.

Regarding testing, Dr. Andrews Pirtle warned against relying solely on the use of rapid testing due to the possibility of false negatives.

“If a rapid test is positive, we know it’s positive,” Pirtle said. “But if a rapid test is negative you still need to do a regular PCR test to confirm that it is truly negative. There are people who test negative on the rapid test and when we get back with them later, they’re actually positive on the PCR test.”

Pirtle also confirmed that the Mississippi County Health Department will be providing free COVID-19 testing Friday from 9-12 p.m.

She also cleared up questions about contracting the virus a second time, confirming that it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 twice.

Pirtle, along with police chief Ross Thompson, also continued to push the public on remaining vigilant in battling the virus.

“These numbers are going up way too much and way too quick,'' Thompson said. “I get it, we’re all tired of this but we can’t stop. We have to continue wearing masks and sanitizing.”

Pirtle echoed these statements saying, “I’ve heard the term of people becoming Covid fatigue. That is no excuse for not enduring.”

Sanders also reiterated the reasoning behind these weekly reports and continued to encourage the guidelines presented by the CDC.

“This is not about frightening you, it’s about informing the people of what we’re actually seeing,” Sanders said. “The reason for these reports is to help people move around in their daily operations. It’s not about becoming a police state.”