UPDATE, 2:20 p.m., April 21, 2020: Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said this morning that he was pleased to see that the county remains with eight COVID-19 positive cases without a change in many days.
However, that number changed this afternoon when officials announced that three new cases have been reported at a Batesville nursing facility.
“I just heard from the governor, like you, that there are three cases in a nursing home in the county,” Griffin told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman. “When there is a case in a confined area, it is inevitable there will be another one or two at a minimum. With a ‘closed-door policy’ at our nursing homes, I was hoping we could avoid any cases among our elderly. It troubles me it will not be the case. I’m sure testing will take place now, and if it has not already started.”
COVID-19 testing in Independence County has doubled and the results are encouraging, according to Judge Robert Griffin.
There had previously been 78 tested with eight active cases. Now, Griffin said there have been 142 tested, and as of Tuesday morning, the active case count in Independence County still stands at eight.
The county judge told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman this morning he had been asking for more testing in the county for some time, and the increase was done in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health and White River Health System.
When talking about virus testing results, Griffin emphasized the numbers are looking much better, but that doesn’t mean the public should stop exercising social distancing, wearing masks when social distancing is not possible, regularly washing hands, and following other safety suggestions put forth.
Residents should continue to be diligent, he said, adding that a few days more, and we will see the beginning of good things happening.
Griffin also noted FutureFuel has been producing hand sanitizer for public entities. The county judge said he was going to pick up a pallet this afternoon to distribute to smaller cities and departments of government in the county.
To listen to Gary B.’s full conversation with Judge Robert Griffin, click the player below.
Gary B. also visited with Stone County Judge Stacey Avey for a coronavirus update. Avey said he is encouraged, as well, noting there were still only seven positive cases in Stone County, and six have recovered.
The judge said it’s been going on three weeks since a positive case. That should encourage people to continue practicing social distancing and all of the safety precautions until word is received at the economy can begin re-opening, the judge said.
Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLE, Outlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at email@example.com. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.