COVID Cases and Deaths on Increase
An explosion of COVID-19 cases in the region, and throughout Arkansas, is straining healthcare providers as the after-effects of the Thanksgiving season are being felt. An expected increase in positive cases linked to the recent holiday is now in full-swing, prompting officials to further warn of gatherings related to Christmas and New Years.
The positivity rate in Clay County was reported at 17.2 percent last week, well above the 10 percent threshold which prompts concern. Other counties are also seeing increases, with Greene County reporting 19.8 percent of people tested returning a positive result.
The county and statewide numbers also continue to climb, as Clay County now has reported a total of 1,071 cases—up 31 in just two days, with 172 of those still considered active. The number of deaths has remained steady this week, after climbing to 24 over the previous weekend. Of those, 19 were reported to be positive while the other four were probable.
Statewide, the total number of positive cases climbed 1,752 from Tuesday to Wednesday as the total grew to 176,652. Of those 18,765 were still considered active—an increase of 323 in just 24 hours. The death toll has also continued to climb as it rose to 2,713 as of Monday afternoon, up 53 from the previous day to set a new one-day record for deaths. By Wednesday the number climbed to 2,786, with 31 deaths reported in the previous 24 hour period statewide.
As they have for the past several months, health officials are still urging all those who have come in contact with a person who has tested positive, or later tested positive, to be tested. Those individuals are also instructed to quarantine for 14 days, whether they get a negative test result or not, to help stem the spread of the virus. ADH officials are also encouraging everyone to get a flu shot, as the season gets into full swing.
Testing is being conducted at the Clay County Health Units, and at the Piggott Community Hospital COVID-19 testing clinic, located at the clinic in Rector. The Clay County Health Unit in Piggott may be reached by calling 870 598-3390 and the Rector Clinic may be reached by calling 870 595-3596. The two county health units have also been staying open extended hours on Tuesdays to provide testing and flu shots.
The state and county figures are updated daily, and may be found on the ADH website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov
The recent increase in COVID-19 virus cases has prompted several announcements concerning restrictions and closures. Last week the Piggott Public Library reported they were closing their facility to the public once-again, although they would still continue to offer curb service by calling 870 598-3666.
On Monday the City of Piggott announced City Hall would be closing to the public for the time being. They asked MLWS customers to use the outside dropbox for payments, or their automated system. Those wanting to inquire about new services, or those needing to pay fines, may call 870 598-3243 to make arrangements.
Last week Piggott State Bank announced the lobby of the Rector facility was closing to the public, and on Monday they announced the same for the Piggott location. Citing the spike in cases, they noted appointments would be required for the time being.