Dr. Pirtle cautions against events

Saturday, August 28, 2021


NEA Town Courier

Blytheville Mayor James Sanders reported 76 additional cases of Covid-19 since last week’s briefing, bringing the county’s total to 320.

He also confirmed that 32.4 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, while another 9.7 percent is partially vaccinated.

Mississippi County health officer Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle suggested that many community events in the near future should be given a second thought.

“I know there are big functions scheduled for this weekend in Mississippi County and Blytheville,” Pirtle said. “If you are in charge of those functions, you really need to strongly consider canceling those functions. This virus is spreading like wildfire, and we have to look out for each other. I know we want to celebrate and have fundraisers and other events, but it’s not the time.”

Pirtle also addressed covid cases being more prevalent in children due to the delta variant being more transmissible.

“With this new variant, the virus just holds on easier. Last week I had 25 pages [of cases], and today I have 32 pages with 10 on a page. And I see four year-olds, one year-olds, two year-olds, and that’s very scary,” Pirtle said. “We just have to delay gratification on some of the things we want to do, that we really shouldn’t do.”

Pharmacist Morgan Bevill of Gosnell Drugs joined the briefing also to announce additional opportunities to receive the vaccine. The pharmacy offers daily covid vaccinations and will work to reach any accommodation patients may need.

“We’ll have after-hours clinics here at the pharmacy. On Aug. 31, Sept. 14 and 28 we’ll be here until 8:30, hanging out, giving shots and making sure people are taken care of,” Bevill said.

“We’re not trying to tell people you're bad or good for taking the vaccine. We just want to make sure they know the opportunity is there and available. Whatever we have to do to make sure people are taken care of, we’ll do it.”

Pharmacist Tyson Walker also confirmed that for nearly anyone seeking a booster shot, it would become available eight months after the initial two doses.

“The initial booster is for patients that are moderately to severely immunocompromised,” Walker said. “So a very small percentage of the population qualifies at this time.”

Bevill added, “For the immunocompromised, as long as it has been four weeks from their second dose they can go ahead and get it.”

The rise in cases has continued across the state as well with Sanders reporting a total of 23,128 active cases.

In his Tuesday report, Governor Asa Hutchinson also confirmed that there are no remaining or available ICU beds in the state.