‘These are not usual times,’ mayor warns ahead of holiday

‘These are not usual times,’ mayor warns ahead of holiday

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With COVID-19 cases growing at what he calls an “alarming” rate, Mayor Harold Perrin warns residents to use caution as the holiday season approaches.

“I want to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family, as usual,” Perrin said in a Wednesday news release. “But these are not usual times.”

Instead of large family gatherings, he urged residents to keep their celebrations small and follow the guidelines recommended by the Arkansas Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the city’s medical directors.

Currently, there are nearly 800 active cases in Craighead County.

Doctors fear the numbers will increase, leading to more hospitalizations and deaths.

“We are seeing growth in active cases, but perhaps more significantly, we are seeing a disproportionate growth in hospitalizations which indicate we have many more cases in the community than we can identify,” said Dr. Shane Speights, City of Jonesboro medical director and Dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

During Tuesday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing at the state capitol, ADH Secretary Dr. Jose Romero discouraged large or close family gatherings. He also warned against those in assisted living facilities joining family gatherings.

The CDC recommends celebrating with those in your daily household and connecting via video chat with extended family members.

“I certainly will not be calling off Thanksgiving at the Perrin house,” the mayor said. “But we have talked about the best way to do it, and we will take the recommended procedures to be safe. I hope everyone does.”

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