CLEBURN COUNTY, Ark. – One of the counties most effected by COVID-19 is Cleburne County. According to a chart put together by John’s Hopkins, Cleburne ranks 14th in the country in terms of the number of cases per capita. In the state of Arkansas they have the second highest number of cases behind Pulaski. Now, officials are working to flatten the curve.
With only about 25,000 people, it’s unexpected that Cleburne County would be a COVID-19 hot spot. According to the Arkansas Department of Health they have 61 cases as of Tuesday afternoon which is the second highest in the state.
“It is serious,” Heber Springs Mayor Jimmy Clark said.
The majority of cases started in Greers Ferry.
“A church was infected by the virus and I think there were 30 cases that came out of that church,” Clark said.
Now, more and more cases are popping up in other towns across the county.
“We are going as far as we can to try and keep people in their homes,” Clark said.
Clark says he’s doing as much as he can to try and flatten that curve.
“We closed our community center, we closed the city offices,” Clark said.
He’s even shut down parks and other outdoor areas.
“Our playgrounds, pavilions, parks, our sandy beach, we’ve shut all those parks down and facilities down,” Clark said.
He says he still needs the community to do their part because you never know who could be carrying the virus.
“This is something that we’ve kind of have to trust,” Clark said.
He understands it may be difficult, but staying inside and limiting contact is a small price to pay to keep the cases at a standstill.
“We can beat this and we will win this fight,” Clark said.
There is no curfew currently in Heber Springs but Clark says he is considering implementing one. In the meantime, he asks that the community listens to recommendations from city and state leaders and the CDC.