FROM: Russellville Mayor Richard Harris
Pope County Judge Ben Cross
To the citizens of Pope County,
As the progression of the COVID-19 virus continues, it is imperative that we as city and county leaders, continue to provide factual information, as opposed to suspected or presumptive information. Accordingly, as residents of Pope County, you should know the factual information dissemination process in place by the Arkansas Department of Health.
Earlier this morning, the Arkansas Department of Health informed the County Judge and Mayor of Russellville of the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 in Pope County. While concerning, this information does not warrant panic in our community. It is important that citizens stay home if you are sick. For those that are not exhibiting signs of any illness, it is important that you restrict unnecessary movement throughout our community and maintain social distancing.
Going forward, any and all additional positive tests in our County will update daily to the Arkansas Department of health website at the following link: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus
It should also be noted, as test kits and actual testing numbers catch up within the medical system, and turnaround results shorten, the number of positive cases will ultimately result in what could be perceived as abrupt rise in confirmed cases. However, this should be expected, and should not reflect a dramatic change in the situational awareness already taking place. Essentially, if someone was already in a “presumptive” category, the medical direction given and mitigation factors put into place are the same. Just because an individual transitions from a presumptive case to a confirmed case does not change the overall situation from a medical management standpoint.
We will continue to provide information relevant to the mitigation of this issue as the situation progresses and urge all residents to stay informed, stay calm, and stay home if you feel ill.