Rogers block party — no degree of separation amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

Rogers Mayor Greg Hines: "Each of us has an individual responsibility to protect our neighbors."

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A subdivision in Rogers had a gathering of kids and adults on Thursday, May 28. What appears to be missing from the party is social distancing, according to photos obtained by KNWA/FOX24.

One photo shows a group of about 50, mostly children, huddled on a lawn.

Another photo shows an adult couple with about two dozen people behind them. Included in the pic are bicycles, wagons, folding chairs and an inflatable pool.

The Property Owners Association president for the subdivision said he was aware of the event and that it was put together by some of the homeowners.

No law was broken, but it did go against COVID-19 social distancing guidelines that Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith have been talking about for the last 10 weeks.

“We have to protect ourselves and others,” said Hutchinson. “This second wave of COVID-19 … we’re focused on Northwest Arkansas.”

Dr. Smith has said, “this is an equal opportunity virus,” on Tuesday, May 26.

Moving forward, “we need to wear masks, practice social distancing, no large group gatherings,” said Dr. Smith.

He said he’s heard from people about why worry if 99% recover [from COVID-19]? “In Arkansas that 1% means 30,000 lost lives,” Smith said.

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING THURSDAY, MAY 28

  • The largest single-day increase in community cases of COVID-19 — 261 was Thursday.
  • Of these new cases, 85 were in Benton County, 25 in Washington County, and 22 in Pulaski County.
  • There are 1,699 active cases in Arkansas, and more than 1,400 cases are in the community, as of Friday.
  • Arkansas has 132 COVID-19 related deaths
  • Each positive case equals 2.8 contacts on average (Dr. Smith).

For weeks, Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins has been working with the city administration to ensure safety guidelines are followed involving COVID-19.

“Now we’re seeing more than 80 cases a day in Northwest Arkansas,” said Jenkins. “Reopening does not mean, ‘all clear.'”

STATEMENT FROM ROGERS MAYOR GREG HINES

“The City of Rogers is taking the recommendations from Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health very seriously. We have refrained from opening recreational facilities and offering other in-person public services in an effort to minimize unnecessary contact, enforce social distancing practices, and protect the health of our community, especially our residents of higher risk. Each of us has an individual responsibility to protect our neighbors, and we have to take that seriously.”

KNWA/FOX24 reached out to the event organizer but did not receive a response.

Coronavirus in Arkansas; 237 new community cases, hospitalization hit all-time high

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