Will Arkansas be the next COVID-19 hotspot?


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — A local nurse is urging people to take every precaution to stop the spread of the coronavirus, after seeing the virus claim the lives of so many.

Jamye Perry was in Connecticut for 4 weeks helping with COVID patients. Now she is back in NWA and is worried we could become the next hotspot.

Her message – don’t pass on wearing a mask and stop with the social gatherings.

“The mayor of New York was on TV and this was when New York was really being hit super hard and he was begging and pleading for people to come help.”

Perry was on the next flight, spending the next few weeks treating people with COVID-19.

“There were literally makeshift ICU’s everywhere and they had so many patients.”

After 14 days of quarantine,  Perry started her first shift back in NWA Monday.

“They had been telling me it’s been getting bad and considering when I left and where I was working I really thought in my head you guys don’t even know bad.”

Perry said she was alarmed by how quickly the virus spread in her home state.

“It’s activities that are happening in the community possible worksite spread, so those are things we would like to further investigate.” said the Medical Director for Immunization and Outbreak Response with the ADH, Jennifer Dillaha.

She said a team from the CDC is expected to arrive Friday.

“They will be helping us look at the patterns of transmission particularly in the Latinx community.”
Perry said her heart breaks for every COVID-19 patient.

“Whenever you look at the patient you just lost and you see yourself, or you see the possibility of being your sister, or your friend..or your mother….and that is real.”

Perry is calling on Arkansans to do their part to slow the spread of the virus, by wearing a mask and when it comes to getting together in groups she says it’s not worth the risk.

“We’ve talked about being together but apart and right now Northwest Arkansas really needs to step back and say that we don’t want to be in the position of these other hotspots.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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