By Ray King

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson has instituted a curfew effective Wednesday April 8 to discourage public gatherings.

Like the curfew imposed in the city of Pine Bluff, the county curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all non-essential travel will be prohibited. Travel will be permitted to grocery stores or getting food, traveling to a gas station, commuting for work seeking medical treatment or caring for a relative.

A similar curfew will be in effect for youth under the age of 18 and will run from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the same exemptions.

“The school children should stay inside unless accompanied by an adult.,” Robinson said in a press release. “We want parents to make sure they are with this time constructively.”
Also according to the press release, projections from public health officials and the Governor, the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen in the next few weeks if social distancing guidelines are not followed. The Governor has banned public gatherings of 10 or more people until further notice.

Robinson said the Sheriff’s Office will strictly enforce this order and non-essential businesses, restaurants, organizations and faith organizations are encouraged to follow this directive.

He said “a Lot of COVID-19 tests are being administered, and most of our test results are coming back negative. However, numbers can change drastically overnight. Therefore, we want to be as aggressively proactive as we can.”

“The Coronavirus is a global pandemic and poses a significant risk to the health and safety of the entire world,” Robinson said in the press release.