BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - “At this point, if you’re not taking [COVID-19] seriously, you’re part of the problem.”
Strong words from Blytheville Fire Chief Mike Carney as he announced one member of his crew tested positive for the coronavirus and seven are now in quarantine.
Carney revealed the diagnosis Monday afternoon during Mayor James Sanders’ COVID-19 meeting.
The chief said the employee who tested positive was running a fever but added that they had “no real bad symptoms.”
Those who came into contact with the infected person have been tested and are awaiting the results.
“We’re doing what we gotta do,” Carney said. “We knew this was coming but now that it’s here it doesn’t make it any easier.”
The chief said he had also been tested and the results were negative.
He went on to say that he learned that he had been to an unidentified establishment with a reported case of COVID-19.
“It’s obvious not everybody is taking it as seriously as others,” Carney said. “At this point, if you’re not taking it seriously, you’re part of the problem.”
He went on to implore citizens to wash their hands, maintain social distance, and wear their masks.
“If you cannot social distance, you better be ready to pull that mask out of your pocket,” he said. “It’s just a way of life, folks.”
The chief said it’s up to everyone to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“We got to change our way of thinking,” Carney said. “This virus is spreading. What we’re doing is not working quick enough.”
As of Tuesday, July 21, the Arkansas Health Department reports 147 active cases in Mississippi County with 6 deaths reported. Of the 450 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, 297 have recovered. The ADH reports 4,826 residents have tested negative for the coronavirus.