April 1: 624 confirmed cases in Arkansas; 13 cases in Craighead County

Craighead County now has 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the Department of Health’s website shows late Wednesday.

Updated as of 4/1/2020 8:30 p.m.

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas: 624

  • As of 10 AM, there had been 7,920 total tested for COVID-19 in Arkansas. 566 of those were positive. 7,354 were negative.
  • As of 8:30 PM, here had been 8,460 total tested for COVID-19 in Arkansas. 624 of those were positive. 7,836 were negative.

In NEA (8:30 PM)

  • Randolph: 1-4 positives; 105 negatives
  • Clay: 0 positives; 25 negatives
  • Lawrence: 1-4 positives; 19 negatives
  • Greene: 1-4 positives; 54 negatives
  • Craighead: 13 positives; 38 negatives
  • Poinsett: 5 positives; 21 negatives
  • Mississippi: 0 positives; 23 negatives
  • Crittenden: 31 positives; 196 negatives
  • Jackson: 0 positives; 14 negatives
  • Sharp: 0 positives; 10 negatives
  • Independence: 1-4 positives; 39 negatives

Curiously, we noticed several counties’ negative totals actually decreased from earlier in the day.

In NEA (10 AM):

  • Randolph: 1-4 positives; 107 negatives
  • Clay: 0 positives; 25 negatives
  • Lawrence: 1-4 positives; 19 negatives
  • Greene: 1-4 positives; 55 negatives
  • Craighead: 10 positives; 38 negatives
  • Poinsett: 5 positives; 21 negatives
  • Mississippi: 0 positives; 24 negatives
  • Crittenden: 29 positives; 197 negatives
  • Jackson: 0 positives; 14 negatives
  • Sharp: 0 positives; 10 negatives
  • Independence: 1-4 positives; 39 negatives

United States total: 213,372; 4,757 deaths; 8,474 recoveries

Source: Arkansas Department of Health. Current as of 8:30 PM 4/1/2020

Global total: 932,605; 46,809 deaths; 193,177 recovered.

Source: Johns Hopkins University. Current as of 8:30 PM 4/1/2020

Trump: Expect more than 100,000 American deaths

A “painful” and “tough” period was warned of by President Donald Trump on Tuesday who said projects are showing a minimum of 100,000 dead Americans from the coronavirus. Those projects could reach 240,000. However, had America not acted, the deaths would have topped 1 million, the president said. Read more from Time.

Press update from Arkansas governor

  • Governor announced a partnership for a drive-thru coronavirus testing service with Walmart and Quest Labs. It will begin in Benton County – where already, over 508 negative tests have been processed, with 38 positive test results.
  • 84 cases are health care workers; 51 are residents of nursing homes; 56 are currently hospitalized (down 8 from Tuesday), 25 of those on ventilators (up 2); 32 total have been on a ventilator and 90 total have been hospitalized from COVID-19; 42 have recovered
  • Arkansas State Parks will be moving to day-use only starting Friday; Once parking places are at capacity, parks will close as able to new visitors

The video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/c/GovernorAsaHutchinson/live


Coronavirus deaths compared to wars

With expectations announced by the White House of at least 100,000 deaths of Americans, it seems even the best case scenarios are grim. By comparison, here are other world history events where Americans lost their lives:

  • Civil War: 750,000 est. dead
  • Revolutionary War: 25,000 dead
  • World War 1: 116,516 dead
  • World War 2: 405,399 dead
  • Korean War: 36,516 dead
  • Vietnam War: 58,209 dead
  • Iraq War: 4,497 dead
  • 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: 2,997 victims dead

Death toll source: Wikipedia

Wimbledon canceled for first time since World War 2

For the first time since 1945, The Wimbledon Championships have been canceled. It is in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” Wimbledon said in a statement on their website.

Read more from ESPN.

12:45 PM

NEA Baptist Offers Virtual Visits Through MyChart

JONESBORO, Ark., April 1, 2020- NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital has launched a new on-demand video visit feature through the Baptist OneCare MyChart app.

This feature allows patients to schedule and conduct doctor’s appointments from their home or office, using a smartphone, computer or tablet. As with regular doctor’s appointments, patients may be required to pay co-pays or additional fees after their insurance is filed.

“We are excited to offer this virtual service to our community,” said Brad Parsons, Administrator and CEO of NEA Baptist. “By using the latest technology, we can offer our care and expertise to patients in their own homes. It’s a safe and secure way for the community to get medical care for minor conditions, especially if they have concerns about the coronavirus.”

Baptist OneCare MyChart also offers the Find Care Now feature, which allows users to view the closest NEA Baptist Urgent Care locations and wait times. Patients can also check in for their appointments from their phones.

Commentary: An Important Coronavirus Tune

By Casey Pearce, Associate Director of External Relations and Marketing for New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

As I approach my 40s, my annual wellness visits to my primary care physician usually consist of my doctor singing a familiar tune: improve your diet, get more exercise and make some changes to lose a little weight.

As important as those messages are, I’ll admit it’s easy for them to lose their gravitas when I hear the same things over and over again. Especially for me, a middle-aged man with an affinity for pizza and my television.

But there’s a reason my doctor keeps telling me the same things: if I want to maximize my quality and length of life, there isn’t much more they can say to help me do so.

In recent days and weeks, our physicians may have started to sound like broken records when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19/coronavirus epidemic that has encompassed our lives. Every story we read contains the same directives.  As the publicist for a medical school, I can pretty much copy and paste the lines into every piece of communication I send.

Stay home. Wash your hands. Maintain at least six of distance between you and others. Wash your hands. Cough into the crook of your elbow. Wash your hands. Make extra effort to stay away from people who are sick. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. And wash your hands.

Just like the frequent advice I receive during my physicals, our medical leaders keep playing the same song because their instructions are the only chance we have as we fight this unprecedented global health crisis.

I know a lot of people who have been slow to understand the seriousness of the situation we’re facing, and I may not have initially grasped the crushing weight of it if I weren’t around trusted physicians and medical educators all day – prior to the work-from-home directive that my employer instituted earlier this month, of course.

As the Coronavirus erupted in China in January, I listened to physicians in my office as they voiced growing concerns about how the disease would eventually reach the United States and turn our lives upside down. I’ve watched this pandemic play out exactly how they predicted.

The concerning part of that: those same physicians are now having conversations about how much worse it will get before the situation improves. They were right before, and unfortunately for many of us, they continue to be right daily. It’s happening in the northeast and northwest parts of our country in particular, and what we’ve experienced in Arkansas is only the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t let the advice of our medical leaders become numb. Realize the repetition should underscore the importance of heeding their words.

The only way to decrease the number of infections that occur every day is to listen to what our doctors keep echoing. The only way we can prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed – like we’ve already seen in many parts of the world and now areas of our own country – is to practice what our physicians are preaching.

It’s crucial that we listen to what they’re saying, no matter have many times they have to tell us.

Casey Pearce is the Associate Director of External Relations and Marketing for New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

AState spring commencement rescheduled for August 7

On Tuesday, Arkansas State University announced it was postponing the 2020 Spring Commencement ceremony to the same weekend as the August Commencement, currently scheduled for August 7. This is not a requirement for graduation and students expected to graduate will experience no official delay in graduation. Read more from AState.

8:30 PM

City of Jonesboro update late Wednesday

As workers joined City of Jonesboro employees Wednesday in continuing recovery and cleanup efforts from Saturday’s EF3 tornado, Mayor Harold Perrin reminded residents of the city’s initial emergency: the imminent danger presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“There was a moment when we had to deal with the clear and present threat created by the tornado,” Perrin said. “But there is no excuse for ignoring the need for social distancing. We are screening every employee in every department to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus in this city.

“We have sent home employees who were running a fever. It made me realize that sometimes when you’re working, you can have a fever and not even realize it. So it’s important to run a thermometer over everyone who enters your door.”

Fever of 100.4 or greater is one symptom of COVID-19, but it is not a universal one.

“It’s a smart practice, but you don’t catch everyone who might be exposed to COVID-19 with a thermometer,” Perrin said. “That’s why social distancing is so critical.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson explained Wednesday that outdoor recreation is still good, so long as it’s done while distancing. He also closed state parks to overnight campers, and Jonesboro is following the governor’s lead with a similar policy at Craighead Forest Park.

“We will not allow any new campers, but current campers will be allowed to remain,” Parks Director Danny Kapales said.

Perrin reiterated that even though parks have been closed, trails will remain open only as long as residents can display responsible distancing while using them.

“I will not stop repeating that we must be keeping proper distances,” Perrin said. “I do it. I expect city employees to do it. And I expect our citizenry to do it.

“We are dealing with the after-effects of the tornado. But we are not out of the woods yet on this emergency.”

Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board executives were in damaged neighborhoods Wednesday, telling homeowners how to find licensed crews for cleanup and rebuilding.

Police Chief Rick Elliott said opportunists who might take advantage of tornado victims have been run out of town.

“We saw no unauthorized vendors working in the neighborhoods today, and it’s made residents feel safe,” Elliott said. “Workers have been vetted, and when people see the licensed local companies, it gives them some confidence.”

Elliott also said most streets are reopened.

“We’re down to AT&T and Suddenlink doing some last operations, and the intersection of Race and Caraway is going to require some time,” Elliott said. “But most streets are clear.”

JPD has been running 12-hour shifts but will return to regular eight-hour shift Thursday morning. Elliott also said the Turtle Creek Mall command post will close.

“Chain-link fence will be placed around the mall property, and mall security is in place to guard against trespassers or looters,” he said.

Elliott and Perrin have left the 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew in place until further notice, as it has proven effective in the fight of both the tornado response and the COVID-19 fight.

“Cities all over the country are taking this measure, if not more stringent ones, and they haven’t had a tornado in addition to coronavirus,” Perrin said. “So we have been able to manage the tornado without major incident, and preventing nighttime get-togethers will play a role in preventing coronavirus spread.”

Perrin said though tough times remain, he looks forward to the day lives can be lived as usual.

“There is a light at the end of this,” he said. “It’s a just a courage check, and we are resilient, sincere, loving people. So I have no doubt we will get through this and look back with pride in how we handled it.”

This article will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 with coronavirus related headlines. Check back/refresh for the very latest.


  1. Why doesn’t any of the reporters ask Gov. how he can not place a shelter in place when parents are working in factories with no distancing and then having to have grandparents babysit putting three generations at risk.

  2. This virus is going to get worst if the Governor doesn’t put in place stay at home order. I don’t understand what he’s waiting for. Why wait for the numbers to go up more and more.

What do you think?