Per the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, effective Tuesday, Nov. 17, Cleburne County shows an increase in COVID-19 infections, as does the region and the state. Currently the infection rated for COVID-19 is 2.69 per 1,000, well above the 1.57 score of two weeks ago.
October began with a .77 per 1,000 infection rate.
The North Central Arkansas survey district, of which Cleburne County is a part, continues with its upward trend, currently at 6.75 infections per 1,000, the highest in the state among the seven survey districts. The next-closest district, Central, to the south, is at 4.32 per 1,000, while the Northeast district shows 6.55 per.
Two weeks ago the North Central district was 4.10 infections per 1,000.
Independence County to the east shows a higher score than Cleburne, of 7.24 per 1,000, also a rapid rise from its 1.67 of two weeks ago.
White County to the south is 6.93 per 1,000, also well in advance of its 3.31 of two weeks ago. Van Buren County to the west scores 2.24. Jackson County, also in the North Central district, is 17.94 per 1,000, the highest ranked county in the state
Stone County is 1.28 per 1,000 among the lowest in the state.
Using just Heber Springs as a survey area also shows an upswing, of now at 30-49 infections per 10,000 after spending October in the 20-29 range. Greers Ferry shows the same upward trend, also at 30-49 after a 0-9 score for most of October. Fairfield Bay also shows a slight climb, not at 10-19 per 10,000- after October in the 0-9 range. Drasco has dropped from its October numbers, now down to 0-9 per 10,000, the lowest possible score.
The Heber Springs School District remains at 20-29 infections per 10,000. Concord School District is now down to 10-19 infections per 10,000, down from its earlier 30-49 score. Pangburn School District, to its south has climbed to 50-99 per 10,000.
Cleburne County, per the Department of Health, has 67 active cases, up from 30 two weeks ago but below the 74 active cases listed Nov. 14, an all time high. The county has 514 recoveries with 18 deaths, meaning two additional in the past two weeks.
Arkansas has 134,348 cases Tuesday morning, up from 113,641 two weeks ago. Recoveries are listed as 115,625.
November is a record setting month for the state, with the eight highest new-infections days in the state taking place during the month. This includes Nov. 13 when 2,312 new cases were recorded in the state, the first and to date only time over 2,000 cases were recorded in a single day. All of the record days in November show over 1,400 cases per the independent arkansascovid.com web site.
Updates may be found at healthy.arkansas.gov, ACHI.net/covid19 and arkansascovid.com.
DAMASCUS — Thanks to a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation, The Station Food Pantry in Damascus was able to move to a no-contact method of serving its clients.
The grant, for $500, allowed the pantry to add a carport, which in turn allowed it to place food on a nearby table for clients. Using this method the pantry is able to exercise social distancing while serving those in needs.
Spokesperson Barbara Hutto said the pantry serves not only those in the Damascus area, but in surrounding counties, including Cleburne, Van Buren and Faulkner.
The Station provides, other than food pantry, crisis support services including aiding those after a loss of home and aiding foster families in need. Funded by donations and in a building donated by the City of Damascus, The Station operates in partnership with the Community Foundation of Faulkner County and United Way.
Hutto said the number of people served has increased significantly in 2020.
HEBER SPRINGS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Greers Ferry Lake Project Office is advising landowners adjacent to public lands on Greers Ferry Lake that contract maintenance crews will be conducting boundary line maintenance along an 84-mile section of government boundary.
The work will start in the Devils Fork Arm of the lake in Cleburne County and then head west to the town of Greers Ferry. It will then proceed down the east side of the Narrows Channel before proceeding east through the Shiloh and Tannenbaum areas and will finish up near Old Hwy 25 Park in Cleburne County.
The maintenance work is being conducted by Barnett Resource Management, under contract with USACE. The work will be ongoing for several months and all workers and vehicles will have identification as a USACE contractor.
The firm is re-marking the existing USACE boundary line. Additional work includes locating survey monuments, clearing brush along the boundary line on the public land side, replacing and painting boundary line posts, and painting trees in between the survey monuments to serve as reference points.
The maintenance crews will document possible encroachments on public property such as excessive mowing, unauthorized paths, tree cutting, personal property stored on public land and structures such as sheds, houses, and decks for USACE personnel to review.
Missing boundary monuments will be reestablished at a later date by USACE personnel.
Anyone with questions about the operations should call the Greers Ferry Project Office at 501-362-2416 or stop by the office located near the dam on Highway 25, three miles north of Heber Springs.
Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/little rockusace, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usace littlerock.
The Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a virtual business expo featuring local businesses through Nov. 20.
The expo’s social-distance-friendly format, features daily scavenger hunts allowing participants to win prizes while at the same time gaining information on area businesses. Businesses are in virtual booths, a separate booth for each business, with business information including links to the businesses online presence.
Daily participants in the scavenge hunt are placed in a drawing for a grand prize valued at $1,000, sponsored by premier sponsor First National Bank.
Heber Springs Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ginger Harper said the event was meeting expectations.
“It’s going really well.” Harper said, “We were unable to have our usual in-person Expo because of COVID-19 restrictions, but people are enjoying playing the online scavenger hunt and it’s helping them learn more about our local businesses. Our goal is always to support our businesses, and this virtual expo is helping us promote them through the scavenger hunt. The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a similar virtual expo earlier in the year, and they gave us some great tips on how to make this type of event successful.”
Harper said 28 businesses are participating.
Those interested in participating, including reviewing local businesses can view the event at www.heber-springs.com/2020-virtual-business -expo. Forms for participating in the scavenger hunt are available at the website.