Dardanelle mayor pleads with his community as COVID-19 cases rise

While Mayor Witt watches a close friend battle for his life, he is urging the community to keep washing their hands, use sanitizer, and follow basic health protocol.

DARDANELLE, Ark. — The increase in COVID-19 cases across our state has some local elected officials sounding the alarm.

Dardanelle Mayor Jimmy Witt is one of them. 

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On Monday night, Witt got very personal with his community on Facebook, pleading to them to please just start doing the right thing.

“I like people, I like being around people and I want everybody safe and here for a long time,” he said. 

Similar to the rest of the state and the country, Dardanelle Mayor Jimmy Witt is not pleased while he watches COVID-19 cases continue to climb in his county.

“We have went, in the last two weeks, from approximately 23 active cases in Yell County as a whole, to this morning we’re at 62,” he said. 

Just a couple weeks ago, Yell County was averaging 1.4 new cases a day.

According to Witt, on Tuesday morning that number jumped to 5.4.

“It’s hard, you know, everybody’s worked so hard to do the right thing and they’ve done a great job,” he said. 

Recently though, Witt said that job well done has turned into a lack of diligence towards COVID-19 protocols, which is why he decided to open up.

“I have lost three people that have been really close to me this year due to COVID-19,” he said. 

Now, while Witt watches a close friend battle for his life, he is urging his county and the state to just finish the 4th quarter.

“This isn’t just a rhetorical repeating of the basic guidelines. This has been proven to work and I’m just pleading with the people, please,” he said.

Mayor Witt said he knows a lot of people want to be with their family and friends as Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, but he said that’s only going to happen if people start taking this seriously.

RELATED: Arkansas school districts prepare for likely increase in COVID cases

He also added that he understands why everyone’s tired and he’s tired too, but he wants to remind his county and the state to wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask. 

If not for your own safety, then for the safety of your loved ones.