Mississippi Co. sees uptick in COVID-19 cases

Mississippi Co. sees uptick in COVID-19 cases

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Mississippi County, with Gov. Asa Hutchinson singling out the county as one with one of the bigger jumps in cases on Wednesday.

The Mississippi County Health Officer said things will only get worse.

“They are only going to get worse before they get better,” Mississippi County Health Officer Valencia Andrews-Pirtle said.

She said there are a few reasons why the jump in cases are being seen in Mississippi County.

One is that people are not wearing their masks and practicing social distancing.

“You can look at the different activities that have happened, baby showers, and barbecues, and you know the positives are coming from that,” Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said.

She also said while there are more testing going on, in some cases, people are not getting the results back for 8 to 10 days.

She said during that time, some are not quarantining and staying at home, and those who are positive are spreading the virus to other people.

“The test, the tests are not making them sick, we are making each other sick. We are our own problem,” Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said.

She is urging people who have been tested for COVID-19 and have not received their results to stay at home.

“Don’t go visit places. Have someone else go to the store for you, to go to pharmacy for you, stay home. Stay home. Let your family know, hey, I got this test done because I was thinking something, so they know what is going on with you and be honest.”

That honesty can help, especially if you are going to see a doctor. She said do not wait to tell the doctor once you are in the office that you may have COVID-19.

She is also a physician with the East Arkansas Family Health Center and said they ask people if they have symptoms. She said people come in and do not tell the truth about their symptoms until they are in the doctor’s office. She said that can lead to more exposure.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said there is a fear in the community that people will be stigmatized for having COVID-19, but said it takes all of us to beat the virus.

“We are really in this together, and we really need to be honest and say what’s really going on,” Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said.

She also urges people to wear their face masks properly, but not only wearing it over their mouth, but also over their nose.

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