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Statement from Mayor Harold Perrin:
“Official reports of our COVID-19 case numbers have not changed this week, I take little comfort in those statistics. While our hospitals have been testing patients, Arkansas and many other states have lacked the capability to actually run the tests.
“It is my understanding that more laboratories are starting to be able to run the tests, and as they do, it’s logical that they will find more positive cases. So I am proud of our majority of responsible residents who are practicing social distancing and washing their hands often. Still, I am confident we are only beginning to see the impact of this disease.
“With that in mind, I praise those who are mindful of spreading it to family and friends. I am not pleased by occasional reports of those who are not, and I hope everyone heard today’s speech by Gov. Hutchinson. He has mandated no gatherings of more than 10 people. Our police force will strictly enforce the governor’s order. And I remind people even when they meet in small groups to maintain that 6-foot distance.
“I am highly displeased to learn of reports of fake tests being offered by opportunists who lack a moral compass, taking advantage of innocent and often fearful residents of Jonesboro. JPD is coming after these people, and I will not tolerate their activity in our city. If someone offers you a test, please call the police department.
“I also want to remind you that if you feel sick, call your doctor. This is how the process works: You will answer questions, and the doctor or a nurse will tell you whether you need to be tested for COVID-19. Do not run to the doctor’s office or a hospital. That risks spreading an infection. And we have to ensure the safety of our health providers just as everyone else.
“Finally, I want to stress that this is not spring break. Please reinforce that to your children. This is a time to show how resilient and vigilant Jonesboro can be.”