County sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Friday, December 11, 2020

Mississippi County has seen another increase in COVD-19 cases recently. In his Wednesday report, Mayor James Sanders announced that the county has seen active case numbers jump from 261 to 387 in a one week period.

By Thursday, the number of active cases surpassed 400.

As of Friday, there have been 3,679 total cases in Mississippi County, including 409 active, 3,182 recoveries, and 87 deaths.

“This is still serious,” Sanders said. “People say bullets have no names/eyes, well neither does Covid.”

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson also reported that there are now over 300 active locations in the county where at least one positive COVID-19 case has been identified; 150 of those locations are in the Blytheville area.

“The numbers are increasing drastically,” Thompson said. “In one week we went up 100 differnt locations in the county and 70 different locations in Blytheville.”

While acknowledging that all are social creators and have a desire to interact with others in person, Thompson pushed for people to stay the course in exercising restraint.

“It’s about self-discipline,” Thompson said. “This is not the time to be partying or to be spontaneous and have a kickback. This is the number one way Covid is spread and can actually lead into being a super-spreader event.”

Echoing those statements, Mississippi County Health Officer Dr. Andrews Pirtel continued to warn against even small gatherings.

“Our numbers are really exponentially rising. We have seen some parties/gatherings happening and we’ve seen people get Covid from them and it has to stop,” Pirtel said.

She also explained the duration of time people should be quarantined based on close contacts, both with and without symptoms being shown.

She stated that if you are notified that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have shown no symptoms, you should still quarantine for at least 10 days. If you are experiencing any symptoms, you should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days.

Blytheville director of curriculum Sally Cooke also joined the Zoom report to announce new ways to support students navigate virtual learning.

The Blytheville School District has partnered with Engage Arkansas through the Arkansas Department of Health. The program will connect academic coaches with families and households to ensure their success in online learning.

“We’re excited that the state has seen the need to help not just Blytheville School District but many districts across the state,” Cooke said. “We’ve got a lot of children out there that are not connecting as well as they need to be.”

This program is available to all students and they can ensure they are signed up by emailing or calling 501-916-4975.