West Memphis Mayor announces curfew to fight pandemic

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — The mayor of West Memphis is enforcing a curfew for the city and Crittenden County after he said local residents are ignoring social distancing policies.

It will go into effect on Tuesday, starting at 9 p.m. and will last until 5 a.m.

Mayor Marco McClendon said he is not going to wait for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to take stronger action to fight the spread of the virus.

“If they say this thing is going to peak at the end of the month, I don’t want to start doing what we’re doing at the end of the month,” McClendon said. “I definitely want to be proactive and make sure we’re doing everything we can do to make sure Crittenden County is safe…”

McClendon called out people who are still gathering after local and state governments recommended people to practice social distancing.

“No more barbecues right now, no more lollygagging, meeting up at carwashes or whatever you may be. Right now, it’s time to call those loved ones on the phone, make sure they’re doing alright…”

McClendon even called out some West Memphis churches for still holding services, calling the decisions reckless and irresponsible.

The curfew will not affect people going to and from work or people going to get medical attention. He pointed out larger stores in the city are closing by 8 or 9 p.m., and there’s no reason to be on the streets.

According to McClendon, three people have already been arrested for violating state ordered quarantine and were out in public.

Two men were arrested for threatening to expose officers to COVID-19.

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