BENTON, Ark. — The Mayor of Benton released a statement today regarding a declaration of a local disaster emergency pursuant and extending a juvenile “stay at home order” within the city of Benton, and closing all publicly owned facilities and certain park areas to the public.
Mayor Tom Farmer says it has been determined that COVID-19 has been detected within Saline County and threatens the lives of people in the community.
The virus is a new disease and there is much to learn about how it spreads, the severity of the illness, how to treat it, and to what extent it will continue to spread.
Dr. Greg Bledsoe, the Surgeon General of the state announced a coming wave of COVID-19 infections and urged citizens of the state to abide by social distancing and quarantine restrictions.
The Governor has mandated that all schools be closed for the present time and has mandated social distancing in that people are to stay at least 6 feet apart and that no group congregate with more than 10 people.
It is apparent that minors and in particular school aged children are not abiding by these directives especially during the hours they would normally be in school, so in order to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Benton the Mayor has instituted a juvenile “stay at home order” for all minors within the City of Benton.
A violation of the juvenile “stay at home order” included within this declaration of local disaster emergency will adversely impact the City’s ability to protect the public health and safety from COVID-19 because the more people are outside and interacting with others the higher and demonstrated risk exists for spreading the virus unknowingly from an individual who may test positive for the virus, or who comes into contact with another person who has tested positive for the virus, or who is in fact carrying the virus.
The temporary closure of buildings and certain park areas owned by the City to the public has become a necessity in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to reduce the amount of personal interaction between city employees and members of the public during this time of emergency.
This exercise of the city’s police powers and its emergency management functions are necessary to address public health and medical issues, and all activities which are undertaken herein are necessary or incidental to the preparedness, mitigation, response, recover and prevention for such governmental function are authorized, as well as other provisions of the Arkansas Emergency Services Act of 1974 all of which are undertaken in fulfillment of the responsibilities of the City has to protect lives and property and to minimize and reduce the risks of transfer of COVID-19.
Mayor Tom Farmer says under his authority as Mayor of Benton he proclaims a local disaster emergency exists within the City of Benton, and declare the following using the emergency powers conferred upon him as Mayor:
Click below to see the powers conferred upon, and the entire declaration.