Mayor changes Covid updates to monthly

Saturday, April 10, 2021

With a decrease in the number of active cases in Mississippi County, Mayor James Sanders announced that his weekly COVID-19 updates will be reduced to monthly reports on April 7.

Sanders assured that additional vaccine clinics will still be announced by the city through its Facebook account and live announcements would be made for any pressing coronavirus related issues.

He reported 28 active cases on Wednesday, but still advocated for caution. Mississippi County health officer, Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle, also continues the push to ensure everyone gets vaccinated.

“We don’t need to have an island of people just passing the virus around. Actually, it’s been the younger people who have been catching the virus now. It’s also been driven by the kids who play sports, which is very concerning.”

She also announced that around 20 cases of the Covid variants have been found in Arkansas. For those still hesitant about being vaccinated, Pirtle posed a difficult question.

“Has there ever been a time in your life where you’ve seen as many deaths as we had in 2020?” Pirtle said. “I know I’ve never seen that many in my lifetime. This virus is real, it was very real this past year and we want to be able to control it like we controlled smallpox in the past.”

Citizens can continue signing up for vaccines by contacting Rose Pharmacy in Blytheville, Delta Drug in Manila, Southern Pharmacy in Leachville, Gosnell Drugs as well as local Walmart pharmacies.

Concerning masks, police chief Ross Thompson continued to support wearing them. “Just because you’re not required to wear a mask doesn't mean it’s over. The same way you’re not required to sanitize your hands, you still should,” Thompson said.

For active cases in surrounding counties, Sanders reported 58 in Craighead, 42 in Crittenden, 32 in Greene and nine in Poinsett.