On Friday March 13, 2020, at 4:45 PM, a state of emergency was declared in Polk County. The primary reason for this decision was to give Polk County the ability to request certain items and resources from the state and federal governments that are not currently available locally. We have requested personal protection equipment (PPE) for our law enforcement and jail personnel from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). The declaration can give us some other benefits, if needed, as we navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no confirmed cases of this virus in Polk County.
Over the last few weeks I have educated myself on the best strategies to mitigate the threat this virus brings to the elderly and health compromised in our county. According to many experts and lessons learned, social distancing and frequent disinfection are key in the reduction of spread of COVID-19. Our team will continue to learn as we give this subject proper attention. At this time, we plan to keep the courthouse open, as the people have important business matters to conduct. We are asking you not to come if you have fever or any symptom that might be similar to a characteristic of COVID-19. Also, many matters can be achieved over the telephone or online. In every instance at the courthouse or around the county, we should focus on limiting contact with each other until a safer time.
Please be kind to one another and call your elderly friends and family members instead of dropping by. Refraining from travel to other areas and self-isolation will further mitigate spread. I know we can count on the people of Polk County to use common sense and the discipline to “lay low” for a few weeks while conditions develop.
Brandon Ellison, Polk County Judge