Spike in cases

Saturday, September 11, 2021

A constant trend continued over the three-day weekend concerning active covid cases in Mississippi County.

Blytheville Mayor James Sanders and Mississippi County health officer Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle reported a spike in cases after holidays and long weekends, and this Labor Day weekend was no different.

Sanders reported an additional 147 active cases on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 467. With the county fully vaccinated rate at 34.7 percent, Blytheville police chief Ross Thomposin offered a challenge to the community.

“That’s low. I don’t know what the average is for what other counties have done, but I’m disappointed. I’d like to see those numbers up,” Thompson said.

“We’re pushing 70 to 75 percent here at the department and I’m very proud of that. We’ve even had others begin to take it that didn’t consider it the first time around. They’ve seen that we’re ok and making it through [the vaccination]. They’ve also seen how a vaccinated officer has handled being positive versus unvaccinated people testing positive. We’re doing this so we can continue to serve the community. I challenge the community here to try to get that number up.”

Sanders added, “This has to get under control before we can get to some sense of normal. These numbers are staggering. I know some people say you can get [Covid] anyway, [despite the vaccine], and that can be true but my concern is your total well being. I’ve had people that I know who’ve contracted this and they’ll quickly tell you that it is no joke.”

For those who have tested positive, Dr. Pirtle continued to present information about the monoclonal antibody treatment.

The treatment can be given to patients through an IV or through four injections. However, this treatment is only used within ten days of a positive test.

“When you have an infection with a virus, there is a M protein and a G protein. The M protein is the acute infection,” Pirtle said, meaning the infection has only been present for a short amount of time. “You want to give a person enough monoclonal antibodies to surround the virus while the infection is still acute.”

This reaffirms the value testing still has during the pandemic. While the monoclonal antibody treatment can be done at Great River Medical Center, the hospital does not administer the treatment on weekends.

“As soon as you know you’re positive, talk to your health provider so they can get your notes that have your risk factors and they can get your information sent in,” Pirtle said.

Pirtle and Sanders also confirmed that homebound individuals can call the county health department at 1-800-985-6030 to receive the vaccine as needed.