Officials announce first presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Northwest Arkansas

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Washington County and the City of Fayetteville have been notified of a presumptive positive test of COVID-19 for a city resident, according to a release from County Judge Joseph K. Wood and Mayor Lioneld Jordan on Wednesday.

It’s the first reported presumptive positive case in Northwest Arkansas.

The city says it is continuing “to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson will address the state in a press conference today at 1:30 p.m.

According to an internal memo from Washington Regional obtained by KNWA/FOX24, the patient is a family member of a “WRMS provider.”

The provider “began a 14-day quarantine within approximately 36 hours of exposure and remains symptom-free,” according to the statement from J. Larry Shackelford, president and CEO of Washington Regional Medical System.

Shackelford said the hospital “confirmed with the Epidemiologist of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) that there is an extremely low risk that this provider would be infectious from the period of exposure to self-quarantine.”

He told employees that the risk that stuff was exposed to the coronavirus was even lower.

“It is important to note that this provider is NOT a patient,” he said.

Shackelford said neither the ADH nor the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended self-quarantine for any staff who may have come into contact with the employee.

The full text of the memo is attached below:

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For more information on cases in Arkansas, please follow the link to the Arkansas Department of Health: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus

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