Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin introduced the opening of a COVID19 page on the City of Jonesboro website,, as a way to help residents stay abreast of policy and changes taking place in City government, as well as ask questions and find links to information regarding the pandemic coronavirus outbreak.

“While we work around the clock to adapt to the requirements – most notably social distancing – that will best see us through this emergency, we want to be as informative and responsive to our residents as we possibly can,” Perrin said Wednesday.

City of Jonesboro

The response to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has hit the restaurant industry hard.  As KASU’s Johnathan Reaves reports, one message from a landlord to his tenant brought joy in the midst of fear. Click on the Listen button for the entire story. 

skeeze / Pixabay

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Concerns about the coronavirus on Wednesday prompted Missouri’s governor to push back local elections for two months, forced the closure of one of the state’s most iconic landmarks, and led St. Louis’ mayor to warn about possible community spread after an infected person went to work.

Seventeen cases have now been confirmed in Missouri. One of the new cases involved someone who went to work in St. Louis even while exhibiting symptoms, Mayor Lyda Krewson said on Twitter.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas governor announced Wednesday new financial assistance for people and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including a temporarily waiver of the state’s work requirement for food stamps.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordered the changes as Arkansas saw its coronavirus cases rise from 22 to 37, its largest single-day increase.

Due to current events and to avoid the spreading of COVID-19, this Bluegrass Monday performance scheduled for March 23 has been canceled.

Arkansas Department of Health

In this interview with U.S. Senator John Boozman, KASU's News Director Johnathan Reaves discusses the latest response to COVID-19, its financial impacts on the region and the country, and economic relief for Americans.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  


Though no new presumed cases of COVID-19 were announced in Arkansas on Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said more diagnoses can be expected as the state's testing capability grows.

Some health insurance companies, such as United Healthcare and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield have adjusted their policies to cover testing for the coronavirus for its customers. Member Station KUAR's Sarah Kellogg spoke with Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield on the changes the health insurer has made due to COVID-19.


Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – A number of events scheduled for March and April on the Arkansas State University campus have been postponed or canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic facing the nation.  New dates for postponed events will be announced as soon as possible.

Calendar changes since the last update issued include:


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday eased some restrictions for seeking unemployment benefits as the rest of the state’s casinos temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hutchinson’s order on unemployment insurance waived a one-week waiting period and made applicants immediately eligible to receive the benefits. It also eliminated any requirements to apply for the benefits in person.

Tennessee State Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers acknowledged they were shirking federal health recommendations on the coronavirus by sitting in close quarters as they conducted business Tuesday.

They also drew questions about whether they were staying focused on only the most necessary legislation, as promised, during their sprint toward a recess by the end of the week.

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A clinical lab in Missouri says it has developed a test for the novel coronavirus that is more than 99% accurate.

KCUR reports that Viracor Eurofins in Lee’s Summit claims it is capable of performing more than 1,000 tests per day and returning results the same day.

Officials say the test would allow for expanding testing to patients who don’t currently meet the eligibility criteria for public laboratory testing established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in western Missouri, bringing the state’s total to eight.

Cass County health officials announced late Monday that a patient is in self-isolation in Drexel, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Kansas City. No other information was released.

Two other new cases were announced Monday, one in St. Louis and the other in Greene County in southwest Missouri.

Southland Casino Racing, formally Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis, Arkansas
DoxTxob / English Wikipedia

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two more Arkansas casinos are closing temporarily because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Southland Casino Racing, a West Memphis dog track, and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff announced they were temporarily closing their facilities.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Talk Business and Politics

The City of Jonesboro on Monday adopted a handful of strategies to impede the spread of COVID-19 to residents doing business with the city.

Perrin also reiterated his request that residents as well as businesses heed CDC recommendations of gatherings no larger than 50 and asking restaurants and as many businesses as feasible to operate via pick up, delivery or drive-thru service.

Tennessee governor asks all schools to close by Friday

Mar 16, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee on Monday asked all schools in Tennessee to close by the end of the week due to coronavirus spreading across the state.

“Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31,” Lee, a Republican, said in a statement.

Missouri records sixth case of the coronavirus

Mar 16, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri should be able to conduct thousands of tests per day for the coronavirus and deploy mobile testing sites throughout the state on or around April 1, Gov. Mike Parson said Monday

Parson also announced the state’s sixth case of the disease, this one in Greene County in southwestern Missouri. He said 170 people in the state had been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and that 164 of them had tested negative.

The White House
Noah Fortson / NPR

The White House coronavirus task force is briefing reporters on the latest on the pandemic. Watch the update live.

Arkanas Governor Asas Hutchinson at a press conference with state health officials delivering an update to COVID-19 cases.
YouTube / The Office of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ largest city is planning to impose more restrictions, including a curfew, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.

Mayor Frank Scott said Monday that a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be in effect in Little Rock beginning early Wednesday.

“This decision we did not take lightly at all,” Scott said.

The mayor made the announcement shortly after the state Department of Health announced that the number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas had risen by six to 22.

Black River Technical College
Black River Technical College

Beginning Monday, March 16, BRTC is closed to the public until Monday, March 30 at which time the coronavirus situation will be reassessed.  On-campus students, except Law Enforcement Training Academy cadets, are not to report to campus Monday, March 16. 

Online courses will continue as usual, but on-campus classes will be converted to online and reopen on Monday, March 30.  

Please check and the BRTC social media accounts for more detailed information and/or changes.

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Only two candidates will be onstage for Sunday's Democratic primary debate: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The CNN-Univision debate was relocated from Arizona to Washington, D.C., and will not have an in-person audience due to coronavirus concerns.


City of Jonesboro

The City of Jonesboro is extending closures of community and senior centers and limiting public gatherings on all city properties to 50 or less, Mayor Harold Perrin announced Sunday.

All public city meetings, including Tuesday’s City Council, will be postponed and rescheduled when a plan that will ensure the safety of all participants is deployed.

Any agenda item will automatically be included in the rescheduled meeting. Anyone who has official business with the city is encouraged to contact the city by phone or email to determine whether an in-person meeting is necessary.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Schools throughout Arkansas will be closed for onsite instruction for the next two weeks due to concerns over the new coronavirus, officials announced Sunday.


Governor Asa Hutchinson has orded that all public schools in the state of Arkansas will close due to coronavirus response.  The closures will take place Tuesday through Friday, March 17-20.  These will be Alternate Method of Instruction days.  Monday, March 16 will be optional closings for schools.  Some of the closings inlcude:

Jonesboro Schools

Nettelton Schools

Westside Schools

Valley View Schools

Bay Schools 

Buffalo Island Central Schools 

Paragould Schools 

Marmaduke Schools 

Greene County Tech Schools

ASU-Newport Moves to All Online Instruction Through April 3

Mar 15, 2020

ASU-Newport conducting classes online, in response to COVID-19

Contact:  Mallory Jordan, ASUN Marketing and Communications Specialist
NEWPORT (Ark.) – The safety of Arkansas State University-Newport students, faculty, staff and visitors is our top priority, and the institution is closely monitoring the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak and following protocols as set forth in our emergency response plan.

A-State Announces Immediate Transitition to All Online Course Delivery

Mar 15, 2020
Arkansas State University

This information from Arkansas State University Chancellor D. Kelly Damphousse.

Dear Red Wolves:

Arkansas Department of Health

President Trump is set to hold a press conference on the ongoing response to the coronavirus crisis. Watch the press conference live at 3:00 PM ET.

Follow live coverage of the debate, with real-time analysis from NPR reporters.


For KASU News, I’m Johnathan Reaves. An Arkansas native is leading  a response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in New York.  Dr. Sherlita Amler is from Marmaduke and has several degrees from Arkansas State.  She is currently the Health Commissioner in Westchester, New York.  More than 300 people in New York state have been infected, over 100 of those in the area Dr. Amler is in.  She tells how this started in Westchester.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

A-State Lists Postponed and Cancelled Events

Mar 13, 2020
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – A number of events scheduled for March and April on the Arkansas State University campus have been postponed or canceled in the wake of the coronavirus health crisis facing the nation.  New dates for postponed events will be announced as soon as possible.

The affected events, original date, and status are listed in chronological sequence:

Jonesboro Municipal Center
Brandon Tabor / KASU News

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin issued the following statement:

My administration is working diligently to achieve two goals regarding the COVID-19 outbreak:

First, to deploy in all areas under city government the state Health Department- and CDC-approved best practices that will help prevent the spread of coronavirus in our city and region;

and second to dispel the false rumors that can cause panic and distraction, rather than allowing people to focus on the simple measures that will see us through this period safely and responsibly.

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s sixth annual Neil Griffin College of Business Women’s Business Leadership Conference has been postponed as part of the university’s coronavirus response planning, according to Dr. Patricia Robertson, faculty coordinator for the Women’s Business Leadership Center and business law professor.