Editor’s note: The following article may not be all inclusinve but every effort was made to monitor all changes in the area.
The response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in South Logan County varied, sometimes multiple times, by entity and will likely continue to chage in the coming weeks.
Shools are shut down through April 17 and the Logan County Courthouses are closed to the public until further notice.
With schools closed last week by order of Governor Asa Hutchinson — students will be out of their buildings until at least April 17 the governor announced on Thursday — in addition to providing breakfast and sack lunches to students in Booneville to start the week, the school district started making deliveries to the Garden Walk Apartments on Tuesday.
At least three businesses also got into the act of feeding children and the elderly.
Black Dog Meat Company on Broadway offered free banana pancakes for breakfast and a cheese quesadilla for lunch to students 12 and under.
Pizza Italia offered a free slice of pizza and a small drink to those age 13 to seniors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rockin’ Robins offered a free pancake or biscuit and gravy with a drink to children and senior citizens, including a free delivery option within a five mile radius.
The Magazine school districts provided combination breakfast and lunch sacks at its high school cafeteria between 10 and noon.
Even before Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced all bars and restaurants would have to close to in-house service, to go service had became the norm in Booneville, starting with McDonalds about noon on Tuesday.
Eateries like Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell started restricting access to condiments, trays, and utensils as early as March 13 and also closed its lobby last week, as had Subway.
Primarily an eat-in option, Lin’s Buffet discontinued operations altogether on Wednesday of last week.
With the CDC suggesting gatherings of 10 or more people be discontinued, most events in the area are on hold, or canceled altogether.
A grand opening event planned at the new Casey’s was postponed, but the store did open on Friday as planned.
The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus’ March 25 planned stop in Booneville was canceled as was the annual spring Sell It Again, which had been set for April 2-4.
The annual Magazine Homecoming, held each year the second weekend in June, has also been postponed.
The Booneville City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting was postponed on Monday.
On Friday Logan County Judge announced the courthouses in Booneville and Paris would be closed to the public beginning Monday.
All business with county offices that can will be handeled via telephone with appointments for in person service, which will begin only after screening.
The change is indefinite.
The Booneville Public Library also closed early in the week with plans to remain so until at least April 1.
Arkansas State Parks including Mount Magazine State Park have discontinued all programs through May 23, but the lodge at Mount Magazine remained open last week, but that changed as the lodge was closed on Monday of this week.
District court activities were postponed in Paris the previous week and the south side court dates were postponed last Monday until 9:30 a.m. April 16 by District Judge Brian Mueller.
Arkansas driver’s license testing has also discontinued at Booneville City Hall. Written tests are given only at the State Police Headquarters in Fort Smith and no skills testing is being conducted until further notice.
The Logan County Sheriff’s Office is limiting exposure to include canceling church services, classes, etc. for inmates; canceling services such as fingerprinting civilians for applications, licenses, etc.; one-on-one visitation inside the facility is restricted to attorneys, mental health and medical professionals, etc. who will have to go through a screening process before entering the facility.
The office will also accommodate attorneys and professionals through phone visitation to decrease one-on-one visitation.
While the office is still accepting fine payments, officials encourage those to be made by mail.
On Tuesday Booneville Water Department Superintendent Larry Maness said his department will work with residents impacted by the pandemic.
Arkansas Oklahoma Gas had announced last Monday they would not be disconnecting service during the crisis.
Kimes Family Dentistry closed on Thursday with the exception of emergency needs.
Booneville Family Dentistry also closed its doors, seeing only emergency patients on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings.
Mercy Fort Smith further expanded visitor limitations for its hospital, inlcuding in Booneville, on Monday.
Other service industries like Allen Ray’s Edward Jones office discontinued in-person consultations but continued to offer websites and telephone communication.
First Western Bank also closed its branch lobbies on Wednesday of last week, serving customers through drive in locations during normal business hours and services offered inside the branch by appointment.
Community National Bank Booneville shut its lobby on Friday, with in-branch services available by appointment.