WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - City and civic leaders in West Memphis announced a program Monday to help residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Marco McClendon has launched the COVID-19 Community Relief Program, which will focus on supporting children and families, hourly wage earners, businesses, health care workers, older adults, people living with disabilities, first responders and others feeling the effects of the outbreak.
To minimize the impact on the community, the West Memphis has implemented several updated operations procedures effective immediately:
- The West Memphis Utilities will temporarily suspend disconnects for residential and commercial customers for nonpayment.
- West Memphis Utilities will also suspend all late fees at this time.
- Free WiFi and computer access available in the West Memphis First Baptist Church parking lot.
- Childcare assistance for health care workers and first responders is available.
- After hours meal program.
- Drive-by testing for the first 50 patients beginning Wednesday at East Arkansas Family Health Center.
McClendon emphasized that the city is not closed, but people are encouraged to stay home if possible.
“My office have received dozens of calls from families and businesses that are struggling. I believe this is the time to answer them,” said McClendon. “No, our city is not closed. And we want you to be cautions and continue to follow the CDC requirements. Don’t panic, and let’s please be rational. This is an issue, and an epidemic that we’re gonna have to storm through. And we will together as a city, and as a people. But I’m asking everyone to be patient, I’m asking everyone not to panic. Take the proper precautions to make sure you are safe.”
“We are asking people to be cautious. And if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out, make sure you’re at home. But the city of West Memphis is not closing. I know local cities may be doing that near us, but that’s not at the point to where we’re at,” McClendon added.
“...one thing I don’t want West Memphians doing is panicking. All the buying at the store, and buying all the tissue...I want you to be properly equipped, but right now, that’s not necessary for West Memphis. I want you to be calm, follow the law. Live your life to the best of your ability at this time. Continue to pray, keep yourself safe, but we are not closing down at this point. We’re going to continue living life, trusting in God, and being safe."
If you wish to donate items, services or wish to help, call 870-732-7534.