Number of Covid-19 active cases soars to 117 in county

Thursday, July 9, 2020 ~ Updated 3:39 PM

On Wednesday, in the Governor's update at 1:30 p.m it was reported that Mississippi County was one of the top 10 counties who reported a high single number report of positive cases in one day. The number of cases reported was 39.

Blytheville Mayor James Sanders said after hearing this information, he called the Mississippi County Health officer to get a better understanding because the Health Department website did not reflect this increase. Dr. Andrew-Pirtle had not been notified and could not provide any additional information before the mayor's COVID-19 update at 3 p.m., Wednesday.

During the update, Mayor Sanders was able to contact the Regional Office and speak with Mr. Farris, the regional supervisor. Farris checked to verify the numbers but was not able to confirm the count until after the broadcast. He said that 19 of the 39 reported positive cases in Mississippi County were in the 72315 zip code. Sanders said they were already reporting during the update that of the 86 active cases they were to report on July 8 that the Office of Emergency Management had identified 36 to be in the 72315 zip code.

It is believed there are 55 positive cases in Blytheville now and 46 in Osceola.

As of this morning (Thursday) the interactive map reflects a total of 265 positive cases identified in Mississippi County — 117 active — with 145 recovered, three deaths, 4,040 negatives.

Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle, Mississippi County Health Officer and physician with East Arkansas Family Health Center, was contacted on Thursday morning confirming the positive cases are up in Mississippi County.

She stressed the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said the positive cases are up due to a couple of reasons; one is people not wearing masks and more gatherings/functions being attended.

"Yes, there is more testing but there is more infection being spread," Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said. “Unfortunately, it is sometimes taking up to eight days for test results to come back and people are spreading the disease without knowing they have it. The delay in testing results is making it worse. If a person knows they are positive they would not be out. A solution is if you think you have it or have been exposed to someone who has it, you and everyone who lives in your house needs to stay home. If you test positive, it is important to heed the advice of your doctor.”

She said they need to quarantine for 14 days.

She continued saying the numbers are rising due to the fact people are not following guidelines.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said people should wear masks properly. When you wear one into the doctor’s office, make sure you keep it on at all times, even while you are waiting in the examination room.

Across the country it is taking eight to 10 days to get testing results back.

“There is not enough staff and in some cases locations are running out of tests,” she said.

Most of the time test results will be back in three to five days from the Mississippi County Health Department. She recommended calling for an appointment to be tested.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle reminds everyone to stay home if they are sick.