West Memphis and Crittenden County leaders discuss coronavirus prevention plans

West Memphis and Crittenden County leaders discuss coronavirus prevention plans
West Memphis and Crittenden County leaders join state health officials to discuss coronavirus prevention plans

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - As coronavirus cases pile up in Tennessee, leaders in Arkansas are trying to reassure their citizens.

West Memphis and Crittenden County leaders say there is no reason to panic.

There are no confirmed coronavirus cases in the city, county or state, but they do want citizens to be informed.

At a Tuesday morning press conference with other city, county and area health leaders, West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon tried to calm fears about the threat of the coronavirus.

"I urge our citizens to keep enjoying their daily lives with their families and friends and continue doing business as usual," said McClendon.

While no cases have been confirmed in Arkansas, the mayor says he and other leaders are taking steps to prepare.

McClendon says city custodians have been asked to “go the extra mile” cleaning common work surfaces and he issued an executive order to update the city’s sick leave policy to accommodate any city employee who is diagnosed with coronavirus and has to be quarantined.

The mayor says he's also been reaching out to businesses, including nursing homes, in the West Memphis area.

"I am confident that those entities are taking the steps necessary to protect their patrons, residents and users," said McClendon.

One of the city’s largest employers, Southland Casino Racing, says they are taking the appropriate precautions based on CDC guidelines.

Natalie Carlson, the marketing manager for Southland Casino Racing said, "Southland is taking appropriate precautions based on CDC guidance to help ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees. We're sharing best practices with employees, including emphasizing prudent hygiene practices and staying home if they are sick. Hand sanitizer is available for guests at our entrances."

On the county side, leaders say schools and the county jail are taking extra steps to keep their buildings sanitized.

West Memphis and Crittenden County leaders join state health officials to discuss coronavirus preven

“We’re working together to make sure that we’re protecting our citizens in this county,” said Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless.

As some of those concerns continue to mount, the city and county leaders say they will continue updating citizens, mainly through social media.

For the latest Arkansas coronavirus updates and information please visit, the Arkansas Department of Health Services website.

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