St. Bernards will not furlough workers; Jonesboro curfew extended

by George Jared ([email protected]) 4,507 views 

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to shutter and furlough employees, but as of right now that’s not the case at St. Bernards. The state’s largest private healthcare provider, Baptist Health, told employees on Monday (March 30) that in the coming weeks some would be furloughed and some shifts would be reduced due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic.

St. Bernards Media Relations Manager Mitchell Nail told Talk Business & Politics those changes are not under consideration.

“At St. Bernards, we’ve reassigned certain team members based on their work areas temporarily closing – like our Health & Wellness fitness facility. We, however, do not have any plans to furlough anyone,” he said.

Talk Business & Politics reached out to NEA Baptist, but did not receive an immediate response.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus isn’t the only issue in the region. Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin has extended until further notice the nighttime curfew that has been in place since Saturday’s EF-3 tornado struck a long path through the city. Only motorists going to and from work will be allowed on city streets during this period.

“Our police force is taxed enough under the current circumstances,” Perrin said. “This will allow law-abiding citizens to be at home and ensure no looting or vandalism is occurring while we clean up our city.”

Perrin said some teams of unlicensed and unscrupulous home repair workers have been escorted out of town by Jonesboro Police, and he warned residents to be careful about who they do business with in response to Saturday’s tornado.

Only Arkansas-licensed contractors should be used for home cleanup and repair, Perrin said, because unlicensed workers can do shoddy work and often are scam artists looking for ways to rob Jonesboro residents.

“We are dealing with two crises at once,” Perrin said. “Our citizens are tired, they’re hurting, and the last thing they need is to deal with a scam artist while they try to recover from this storm… I encourage you to do business with local contractors.”

Anyone needing assistance in finding a reputable contractor should contact the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce at 870-932-6691 or jonesborochamber.com, he said.

Residents hiring a contractor should be sure to obtain a copy of the worker’s general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.

Craighead County Judge Marvin Day said the county is no longer accepting clothes at its Donation Center, 5510 Southwest Drive. A need still exists for hygiene and household cleaning products, and new underwear. The center will close at 4 p.m. Thursday.

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