Faulkner County Judge Jim baker enacted the emergency management plan Wednesday in response to two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. He also urged residents to do their part to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s not time to panic,” Judge Baker said. “Rather, everyone needs to do their part to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of the coronavirus. All of our citizens of Faulkner County need to be diligent about staying as isolated as possible for the next two weeks. Just as our nation rallied together in difficult times in the past, it’s our time to unite together to defeat this virus.”

He said county offices will have staff available during normal business hours but asks residents to call and schedule an appointment before going. All county office phone numbers are listed at www.faulknercounty.org.

“Though many of us will be inconvenienced, we need to understand this is a time for us to help the greater good of the county, state and country,” Baker said. “I want to personally encourage every member of our county to practice social distancing, continue to wash their hands multiple times a day, and disinfect their countertops and hard surfaces. If you suspect you may be ill, please do not go to work or unnecessarily spread the illness. Due to the lack of testing, everyone should assume they have the virus and act accordingly.”

The Faulkner County Office of Emergency Management will coordinate daily operations with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) as part of the county’s emergency plan.

“We have cemented our partnership with ADEM to ensure the safety of our citizens,” Judge Baker said. “Starting today, we will officially begin our County Emergency Management Plan, which in turn allows us to request safety equipment from ADEM.”

The judge’s office and Faulkner County OEM will have daily conferences with ADEM and the Arkansas Department of Health to stay up-to-date on any new developments.

“We’ve been preparing for this day for weeks. Now, it’s time to put our plan into action,” Baker said. “The safety materials we had stored have been delivered to the Sheriff’s office, Coroner’s office, fire departments and other public safety personnel. Soon, we are hoping to have additional access to state and national resources that will further aid our efforts to assist our law enforcement personnel and the private medical community.”

Faulkner County OEM requested additional masks, gowns, gloves and other medical devices for 11 medical facilities in the county.

“We’re doing what we can to assist the hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices with the supplies they need,” Baker said. “God bless Faulkner County.”

Jeanette Anderton can be reached at janderton@thecabin.net.

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