NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — State leaders concerned about Arkansas reaching its second peak, as we move further into phase one of reopening.
A spokesperson with the ADH said that as we open more public spaces like restaurants and other businesses, the risk of spreading the virus from one to another is only going to go up—- but you can decrease your chances of getting the virus.
Community spread is a term we’ve heard several times when discussing COVID-19.
“It’s the spreading from person to person that are not in the same household,” said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health. She said it usually happens in public places when people are out doing their normal activities.
“Mostly it’s in those social settings that it occurs, people who work in stores might be exposed to customers or people who eat at a restaurant or go to a beauty parlor.”
That is why she is urging Arkansans to follow the guidelines set by the CDC.
“The helpful thing about wearing a face covering is that it keeps people who have the virus from spreading it through their droplets that they give off from their nose and mouth.”
In Northwest Arkansas, Benton and Washington counties have the highest number of positive cases, with 297 in Benton and 276 in Washington. We reached out to the cities of Springdale and Rogers where hotspots were reported over the weekend.
Rogers Mayor Greg Hines released this statement:
“City of Rogers officials are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily, along with the positive/negative testing outcomes associated with it. Even with the social distancing guidelines, along with other restrictions put in place by the Governor, we were still expecting an increase in positive cases as local businesses began to resume operations and as increased testing opportunities became available.
In an effort to continue to slow the spread of the virus and keep our community safe, Rogers is one of the few cities in Arkansas that have chosen to refrain from opening City offices and recreational facilities to walk-in service. These facilities include the Rogers Aquatics Center, our splash pad, the Adult Wellness Center, the Rogers Historical Museum, the Rogers Public Library and park amenities such as playgrounds, pavilions, etc. We are urging the public to wear masks whenever they have to go in public to not only decrease the risk in contracting the virus, but to also decrease the risk in possibly spreading the virus to someone in the high risk category if you are asymptomatic. We also urge you to respect the space of others and continue to social distance and practice good hygiene.
Our staff will continue to provide our services and support by phone or appointment only, and we will only open our recreational facilities when we feel it is in the best interest of the majority of our community, including those with high risk. This is a very fluid situation, and we are having to reevaluate decisions on a day-to-day basis and will continue to do so.”
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse adds:
“While we don’t have direct access to the breakdown of numbers per city, I think it’s reasonable to expect the number of known cases to go up as testing is expanded. It’s obvious, and should be a reminder to all of us, that the threat of contracting this virus continues to be real. As businesses and public venues continue to gradually open, which they must, we each need to take personal responsibility to do those things we know will reduce the risk of contracting the virus or of spreading it to others.”
Both Mayor Sprouse and Hines are urging residents and visitors to continue to practice social distancing and to wear a mask when in public — so we can reduce community spread.