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The original item was published from 4/9/2020 5:52:05 PM to 4/17/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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City of Jonesboro News

Posted on: April 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City Declares COVID-19 Emergency Curfew

Jonesboro, Arkansas logo that reads People, Pride, Progress

Mayor Harold Perrin, with the approval of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has issued a nighttime curfew as part of Jonesboro’s effort to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the city.

This Declaration of Local Emergency takes effect at 10 p.m. Friday, April 10. The curfew will be 10 p.m.-6 a.m. nightly for no more than 120 days, and will be reviewed by the City Council at its next meeting April 21. Perrin said he hopes this curfew is not needed for the full period of the declaration.

The decision is the result of a confluence of factors that indicate such curfews can be a successful strategy in helping reduce spikes in cases of coronavirus in communities.

Perrin said it is in line with Hutchinson’s philosophy of targeted approaches without impacting commerce more than necessary.

“Cities around Arkansas and the nation are seeing success with nighttime curfews,” Perrin said. “Every hour people are not interacting in person decreases the chances of a spike that could overload our healthcare systems.

“It also protects our police department and other first responders from a surge illnesses and quarantines.”

Perrin leaned on City Medical Director Dr. Shane Speights and Dr. Greg Bledsoe, surgeon general for the State of Arkansas, in this decision.

Speights reminds the public that every day cases continue to go up in the state and region

“It is our duty to continue to look for ways to reduce the impact of this disease on our local healthcare workers, hospitals and the general public,” Speights said. “Essentially, our community’s duty is to keep working to flatten the curve.”

Speights said everyone has to understand how easily this particular coronavirus is transmitted among humans and that 25 percent of carriers show no symptoms. He said the apex of cases in Jonesboro is not predicted for another month or more.

“It becomes a balance of one person’s rights to move freely against another person’s right to remain healthy,” Speights said. “We are walking that tightrope with respect to all involved.”

Activities not impacted by this curfew include travel to and from work, for medical reasons or to contact emergency services such as law enforcement, firefighting or ambulance, or travel beyond the city limits.

“We are working hard to prevent a spike in Jonesboro and Craighead County,” Perrin said. “This might be a small inconvenience to some, but it will hopefully be a great relief to those with underlying conditions and save lives.”

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