Local Coronavirus News

Here's a list of stories of how the Upper Delta and Mid-South is combating the Coronavirus.


City of Jonesboro Coronavirus Hotline/Email
Hotline: (870) 336-7244 (M-F 8 AM-5 PM; Emergencies Dial 911) | Email: covid19@jonesboro.org | Website

Jonesboro COVID-19 Testing & Drive-Thur Testing Info


ADH Hotline if you  don't have a place to self-isolate or self-quarentine:  501-614-5822


Arkansas Unemployment Claims: Hotline: 844-908-2178 | Website:  ARUnemployment.com
AEDC Arkansas Ready for Business Granthttps://www.arkansasedc.com/covid19


Watch the latest updated from Craighead Co/City of Jonesboro (Courtesty of City of Jonesboro) (3/30/20):

Watch the latest update from Gov. Asa Hutchinson (Courtesy of the Arkansas Governor's Office):

Watch the latest White House Briefing (courtesy of NPR) (live feed)

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse talks with KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves about bringing people back to work and getting buildings ready for the fall semester to start.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

Arkansas Department of Health

This from the Arkansas Department of Health: 

Little Rock, Ark. – When a patient tests positive for COVID-19, case investigators and contact tracers work backwards to trace where the person has been and who has potentially been exposed.

This work is called contact tracing, and it’s a critical step toward containing the spread of the virus. It means that a contact tracer with the Arkansas Department of Health or one of our partners might call you seeking information that will help keep you and the people around you safe.

Arkansas Department of Health

This is A-State Connections on KASU.  I'm Johnathan Reaves. Today, we finish the second part of an interview series of Arkansas State University alumni who went to New York City to help with COVID-19 response.  Last week, I talked with Mandy Thomas.  Mandy went to New York City with Joshua Godsey.  He is working near Memphis as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Robert Jones / Pixabay

The Senate Health Committee discusses plans for reopening schools and offices that have been shuttered by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Arkansas Department of Health

This is A-State Connections.  Today, we start the first of a two part interview series of Arkansas State University alumni who went to New York City to help with COVID-19 response.  First, I talked with Mandy Thomas.  Thomas is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who lives in Sherman, Texas.  She tells about her experience of working in an area that was a hot spot for COVID-19.  I started the interview by asking Thomas to tell a little about herself and how she came to Arkansas State. 

City of Jonesboro

Mayor Harold Perrin announced Thursday that Small Business Emergency Grants are available to small Jonesboro businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant assistance of $1,000 to $10,000 can be used for payroll, personal protective equipment, and/or rent and utility payments.

Applications for eligible small businesses can be submitted July 1 through 4 p.m. July 31.

The following rules will determine eligibility:

Arkansas Department of Health

For A-State Connections, I'm Johnathan Reaves.  It is the second Saturday conversation with Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse.  In this interview, I talked to Dr. Damphousse about how the university is responding to COVID-19 and what impacts it might have to the fall semester.  I interviewed Dr. Damphousse over Zoom.  He gives me an update.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

Arkansas Department of Health

KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves interviews Dr. Shane Speights, Dean of the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, about the latest on COVID-19.  Click on the Listen button for more.  

ASU System

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas State University System institutions will keep tuition and fees steady for students this fall while reducing budgeted expenses by almost $14 million or 5 percent in anticipation of lower state revenue and possible enrollment losses.

Arkansas State University

This email is from Dr. Kelly Damphousse, Chancellor of Arkansas State University.  

Dear Red Wolves:

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has created the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Board to review and evaluate new technologies as the state’s public health agencies develop strategies for testing and contact tracing, the governor announced at his daily COVID-19 press briefing today.

Discovery Park of America

As different sections of the economy opens back up, tourist attractions have been working with health officials on how to open safely to the public.  The goal is to keep workers and guests safe while slowly opening back up.  But, how do you do that exactly?  For the answer to that question, I looked at what Discovery Park of America is doing.  Discovery Park of America is a 100-thousand square foot museum and a 50-acre heritage park set in Union City, Tennessee.  It was founded by the late Robert Kirkland, whom also founded the Kirkland’s company and Kirkland’s stores.  The park opened in

Arkansas Department of Health

This is COVID-19 Questions and Answers that was aired on May 16, 2020.  This featured Dr. Shane Speights, Dean of the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.  Listen to the complete program here.  

City of Jonesboro

Jonesboro, AR--After months of short supplies, Jonesboro now has several ways to be tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Mayor Harold Perrin announced today that drive-thru testing will begin Friday, May 15, for anyone who meets CDC and Arkansas Department Health criteria, a list that including first responders, health care workers and anyone in the general public in high risk groups or symptoms of the coronavirus.

Testing will take place 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot at 1911 W. Parker Road.


In this Congressional interview, KASU News Director Johnathan Reaves talks with U.S. Senator John Boozman about the federal disaster delcaration approved after the Jonesboro tornado and the latest with COVID-19 response.  Click on the Listen button to hear the entire interivew.  

My name is Devin Nelson, a Student Life Counselor with the A-State Counseling Center. Coping with Anxiety During COVID-19 is a free webinar focusing on managing increased anxiety related to the global pandemic. All our lives have changed dramatically, and whether you may already struggle with anxiety, or if anxiety is new to you, we can all benefit from exploring new ways to cope.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee is hearing from leaders of the Trump administration's coronavirus response about safely reopening the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are among those testifying. Watch the proceedings live.

NYITCOM at A-State

This release comes from the City of Jonesboro: 

As restaurants reopen today at 33-percent capacity seating, the City reminds patrons of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s mandate that no one enters a restaurant without a mask.

Obviously, during these trying times, some changes will take some effort to grow comfortably. And the practice of eating out comes with new rules that require patience and understanding.

NYITCOM at A-State

Jonathan Berman, PhD, is an assistant professor of basic sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. His book, “Antivaxxers: How to Address a Misinformed Movement,” will be available on September 8.

Over the years, Hollywood has given us numerous pandemic-themed television shows and films that typically conclude with the hero developing a treatment at the last moment that is rapidly adopted.  As a result, humanity is saved in an instant.  

NYITCOM at A-State

Shane Speights, DO, is the dean of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. He also serves as the medical director for the City of Jonesboro.

If you don’t read anything past the first sentence, know this: the cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) will increase in your city, in your county and throughout Arkansas.  Likely in the coming weeks and months. 

More people will become infected, especially as we begin to relax restrictions that have positively impacted our fight against the virus.

Quarantine fatigue is a major concern with those who are most vulnerable.  As the economy starts to slowly open up, those with weakened immune systems are concerned about the expected increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases.   For this perspective, I talked to Brittany Reeves, no relation.  She is a graduate student at Arkansas State University.  Reeves has the most severe form of spina bifida.  She is an amputee and her immune system is extremely compromised.  In this interview, I talked to her about her health conditions and her concerns about catching COVID-19.

Picture of the Cummins Unit sign of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas prison staff who test positive for the coronavirus have been allowed to work at a facility where at least 876 inmates have the virus, a correction official said Tuesday.

Arkansas Division of Correction Director Dexter Payne said the agency has allowed staff who have tested positive to work at the Cummins Unit if they are asymptomatic. The staff are only allowed to work with inmates who have tested positive for the virus, he said.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson is backing a bill that would shield health care providers from lawsuits related to their care for people with COVID-19.

The proposal would protect nursing homes, long-term care facilities, all caregivers and first responders from lawsuits linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials have reported the first death of a state inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus — a man who was among the nearly 1,300 inmates who tested positive from one prison.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday declined to rule immediately in a lawsuit filed by Arkansas inmates who accused the prison system of not doing enough to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

ASU System

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas State University System’s six current institutions, as well as future member Henderson State University, intend to return to in-person classes on campuses this fall as part of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery, President Chuck Welch announced today.

Arkansas State University

The following is from Arkansas State University's Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse.  

Monday, May 4, 2020 | 9:45 a.m.