Rise in COVID-19 cases closes courts, school district

Blytheville sees spike in positive COVID-19 cases

Positive COVID-19 cases on the rise in Blytheville

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Blytheville has had an uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in the city, which raises concern from officials in the community.

According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, Blytheville has seen a jump from less than 20 new cases a week to almost 50 new cases.

Ricky Jefferson, assistant chief of Blytheville police, says the city decided to take measures to keep these numbers from getting worse.

“We’ve shut some things down as precaution. Courts are shut down, schools are shut down as precaution,” Assistant Chief Jefferson said.

With 36 teachers and 81 students placed under quarantine for the next two weeks, Blytheville School District decided to switch to virtual learning until Friday, Oct. 30.

Superintendent Bobby Ashley says that the COVID-19 numbers in the community reflect the schools' numbers.

“When you begin to see those numbers rise within your community, there’s not a surprise that your numbers in the school are also going to rise,” Superintendent Ashley said.

Assistant Chief Jefferson also says the problem is that people want the pandemic to be over, but they are unwilling to cooperate in doing their part to prevent the virus from spreading.

“The only thing that this thing is going to be over with is that we all cooperate and wear our mask and social distance and do those things that keep us all safe.”

With Halloween coming up, Assistant Chief Jefferson advises members of the community to not go door to door for trick-or-treating, but rather try an alternate plan to keep everyone safe and healthy.

“There’s still things you can do and still have fun even in social distance,” Assistant Chief Jefferson said.

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