Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Official page of the City of Jonesboro for news, resources, and updates in dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) following Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) guidelines.

Questions may be asked by calling us at (870) 336-7244 or emailing covid19@jonesboro.org between the hours 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. everyday. For emergencies, please call 911.

If you are a business, employer, or organization seeking information and help during this time, please visit our resource page at https://www.jonesboro.org/542/6764/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Business-Resources 



Face Masks:



News Releases:


Information & Resources:


Free Screenings:

If you are sick or worried you may have been exposed to COVID-19, use St. Bernards Go

https://stbernardsgo.com for a FREE Virtual Care appointment or call 870-336-5651.

Once you are on the app/website, sign up or log in, and in the payment window, use coupon code, COVID, to waive the $49 visit fee.

To keep up with the latest information locally, please go to http://stbernards.info/coronavirus, follow St. Bernards Healthcare on social media https://www.facebook.com/StBernardsHealthcare or call St. Bernards Healthline at 870.207.7300.


Financial Help:


Unemployment insurance claim through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (ADWS):


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance News Release ADWS May 2020 (PDF)


Frequently Asked Questions:



Health-Related Issues:

  • What are the symptoms(which may appear 2-14 days after exposure):
    • Most commonly expressed with fever, persistent coughing, and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms include diarrhea, runny nose, sore throat, and aches and pains.
    • Emergency warning signs: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse; or bluish lips or face.
  • What should I do if I think I (or a family member) was exposed to COVID-19 or have the symptoms:
  • Howcan I stay well?
    • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people and maintain “social distancing” of at least six feet.
    • Good hygiene is key, similar to other viral preventions. The CDC recommends:
      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • If soap and water are not available, have a hand sanitizer readily accessible with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
      • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Consider using non-contact methods of greeting to avoid handshaking, and make sure high-touch surface—doorknobs, tables, desks, handrails, countertops, toilets, light switches, handles, faucets, sinks, phones, and keyboards—receive proper disinfecting regularly.
  • Should I travel outside of Jonesboro or Arkansas?
    • Best to stay put if possible.  Every state has confirmed cases. The highest number of confirmed cases in the U.S. have occurred in three states—California, New York, and Washington—but Arkansas received its first confirmed cases beginning March 11, 2020.
    • As with any travel, you should practice good hygiene and avoid contact within six feet to stay well.
  • Should I stay home if I (or a family member living with you) has the symptoms?
    • Yes. They should, and call your doctor. (Don’t go there first.)
  • Should I wear a face mask?
    • Face masks should be worn if you are sick or in public and around others. Always wear a face mask when coming in contact with people and before entering a doctor’s office. A disposable surgical mask is appropriate, as you do not need an N95 respirator, or wear a homemade mask if you can’t get a better one.  If you do not have a face mask, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use a scarf or handkerchief to cover your face.  Remember to keep social distancing guidelines in mind and stay 6 feet away from others and do not be in a group of more than 10 people.
  • Are my pets in danger?
    • The CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
    • Animals can spread other diseases to people, so remember to wash your hands after caring for them.
  • Should I go to a restaurant or store; attend meetings/church; or ride public transportation?
  • What the best way to disinfect?
    • Clean/disinfect DAILY: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
    • Dilute household bleach with 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water; or 4 teaspoons per quart.
    • Ensure alcohol solutions are at least 70% alcohol.


Senior Issues: 

  • Who can provide assistance for food, medication and household supplies for seniors?
    • Contact Shannon at the Area Agency on Aging at 870-930-2226, or email at ssmithee@eaaaa.org.
  • What should I do if my elderly family member is showing COVID-19 symptoms? 
    • See #2 above – call your doctor or use an on-line screening.
  • What local stores have special open times just for seniors?
    • At this time, the ones we’re aware of are Dollar General; Big Lots; Target; Walmart. Call the stores for times.
    • Many stores offer online shopping delivered to your car. Call the store to check.
    • Kroger has 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. reserved for seniors 60+ and other high risk customers, Monday through Thursday.
  • The Arkansas Department of Human Services encourages Medicaid providers to submit electronic claims instead of paper claims, which allows the agency to process payments more quickly. Enrolled Medicaid providers can register for the online Medicaid Provider Portal to submit electronic claims by visiting this website. If providers have questions about registering, they may contact the Arkansas Medicaid Help Desk at 1-800-457-4454.


City of Jonesboro – Operational Issues: 

  • Are city facilities closed?
    • Our community centers (Allen, Parker, and Earl Bell) and the city’s senior center will be closed indefinitely.
    • Other city buildings (Parks, Public Works, others) are restricted to employees.
    • The Municipal Center east door is available to employees, persons that are going to Collections, and approved visitors.  Visitors will need to go to the collections window and make their request, and will not have open access to 3rd or 4th floors.  Collections will contact the appropriate department to come down to the 1st floor if the visitor needs to see someone from those other floors. Visitors will then need to have their temperature checked and a mask before going to any department in the building.  Packages, documents, or plans should be left in the east door vestibule for pickup by city staff.
    • Animal control is asking the public to call in advance for meetings with potential adoptees and surrenders or impounded animals.  Call 870-935-3920.
    • Closed: Playground equipment and pavilions in city parks.
    • Restrooms, picnic tables (non-pavilion), and workout equipment are now OPEN at Craighead Forest.  Also, softball league games are playing again following special COVID-19 guidelines.  Baseball is practicing.  To see a schedule for baseball games visit http://jonesborobaseball.org/  Soccer is allowed to practice, but not play games.
  • When are City Council or committee meetings?
    • The Council Chambers are now open again for the public but with COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions in place.  For complete list, visit Council Chambers Procedures for COVID-19 - City of Jonesboro - June 9, 2020 (PDF)
    • Questions and comments may be dropped off (prior to time of meeting on the date; check Legistar for more info) at the east door of the Municipal Building, 300 S. Church. They should clearly indicate “City Council Meeting” or whatever the name of the meeting is.  They can also be emailed to CouncilComments@jonesboro.org or called in during the meeting at 870-336-7248 (please use the other methods if possible rather than calling).
  • Is the Police and Fire department fully operational?
    • Yes


Resources for Residents:


Resources for Businesses:

Scams:

  • How do I avoid becoming a victim of scammer?  
    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supports consumers who believe they have been targeted by scammers. The agency reports an increase in coronavirus-related complaints nationwide and advises consumers to safeguard against these scams:
      • Undeliverable goods: A website advertises in-demand products like cleaning supplies and medical equipment. Unfortunately, the order never arrives.
      • Fake charities: Individuals want to help in trying times, but thieves create hoax charities that exploit on this generosity. The best thing to do is research charities online.
      • Fake emails, texts and phishing: Beware of fraudulent emails and texts that ask for your personal information. Sometimes links in these scam emails can install ransomware and lock you out of your computer.
      • Robocalls: Listen to some of the latest robocall pitchesthe FTC is warning that scammers are using to steal money and personal information:
  • The FTC also has a lot of helpful information:
  • Recovery Checks:
    • Arkansans will be receiving recovery checks approved by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. There is no need to sign-up. The IRS will issue the one-time tax rebate check of $1,200 to every American whose 2018 tax return, or 2019 if filed, showed income at or below $75,000. Individuals without bank information provided will receive their recovery checks in the mail.
    • IRS representatives will not:
      • Require you to pay a fee; or
    • Ask you to confirm personal or financial information (including bank, PayPal or financial institution accounts.)

      Visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus for more information on the coronavirus recovery checks guidance issued by the IRS.
  • Social Security:
    • Social Security will not:
      • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee;
      • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment;
      • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card;
      • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem; or
      • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.
    • Not only are scammers using letters to target seniors, but they’re using illegal robocalls. Government agencies won’t call to confirm your sensitive information. Listen to this call scammers are circulating so you can be prepared if you answer a similar call. Hang up if you find yourself on the receiving end of a call like this. Block the caller and report it to the FTC.

  • SNAP Benefits:
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has received reports of possible fraud attempts targeting recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA officials urge participants to be suspicious of any individual or organization that asks for your personal information including social security number, bank information and SNAP EBT or PIN number. In one potential scam, SNAP recipients were asked to enter their personal and bank account information on a website to qualify for coronavirus assistance.