SEARCY, Ark.— A small town in Arkansas is making national headlines as an area where Coronavirus cases are rising the fastest.
Searcy was listed on Thursday in the New York times, along with two other Arkansas towns, in a category called “Where There May Be Bad News Ahead.”
The chart lists 10 metro areas where cases are rising the fastest, on a population adjusted basis.
The other Arkansas towns include Fort Smith and Fayetteville-Springdale.
“I am concerned,” said Searcy’s Mayor, Kyle Osborne. “People panic when you see something like that– you get extremely nervous.”
The Mayor says he is one of many who were shocked to see their small town on a national list.
“I’ve had calls already with people concerned about that, wanting to know what we are doing in Searcy to combat this,” added Mayor Osborne.
He says while the chart is alarming, he feels it is slightly misleading. Osborne says the numbers are reflective of White County as a whole and not just Searcy.
“I want to make it clear it is not just a city problem, it is a county, state, and world problem,” said Osborne. “The New York Times listed Searcy, Arkansas because we are the county seat.”
The news comes while the town sits emptier than usual. Since Thanksgiving, Harding University has sat empty as students were away for the holiday break.
However, next week around 4,000 students will return to campus.
“It has already spread throughout the community and county and Harding is not even back yet,” said Osborne.
He says until the vaccine is available to all, citizens in Searcy need to continue wearing their masks and keeping their distance from each other.
“I want to encourage the citizens of Searcy that someway, somehow, we will get through this,” Osborne concluded.
The list on the New York Times changes daily, however; this is the second time in a week that Searcy has been on the Top 10.
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