West Memphis Mayor Has Simple Message for People Breaking Social Distancing Rules: 'Stay Your A** at Home'

West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon has told locals to "stay your a** at home" if they are thinking of going outside during curfew hours for a non-essential purpose.

In an address to residents of the city on Facebook Live, McClendon said people outside for non-essential purposes were needlessly putting people's families and friends at risk of catching the novel coronavirus amid the ongoing pandemic.

He also claimed that West Memphis' county had the second-fastest-growing number of COVID-19 cases and warned about the costs of failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Speaking to the local community, Mayor McClendon said there were 157 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Crittenden County, Arkansas—the home of West Memphis.

"That disturbed me and I just want to make sure that I give you all the information," the mayor said before breaking down cases by district.

Emergency COVID-19 Press Conference (4.14.20)

Posted by The City of West Memphis on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

"Now I gave you those numbers because there's some effect there," he added. "We are the second-fastest-growing county in Arkansas of this COVID-19."

He then asked viewers: "Why is it so hard for us to do our part? We know the only way we have that can stop this spread of this virus is our social distancing in our city.

"We done all those essential things to make sure that our people are safe, but it gets to a point that you as citizens of our city are going to have to make the decision to say I'm going to stay away from individuals, I'm going to stay away from possibly spraying this virus."

The mayor then noted that he put forward a curfew for West Memphis lasting from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and wanted people to stay at home as much as possible, with clear exceptions for exercising, grocery shopping and other essentials.

"I think it's so important that we follow the CDC guidelines," McClendon later said. "I think it's so important that you follow our curfew."

The mayor added: "And I mean this with all affection. If you're out after nine o'clock, if you're not going to work, not coming from work, stopping by a restaurant to get food to take home, if you're not going to any of the emergency facilities because you need help, or if you are not doing any of the essential things that's necessary for our city, with all emotion and no disrespect: stay your a** at home.

"I can't make it any more blunter than that. Because with you thinking you're out doing what you want to do, you are affecting my family, my friends, someone else's family, and someone else's friends."

He then called on other mayors to make similar statements, claiming that people from other areas were coming to West Memphis to shop.

"I'm begging you, help me help you," McClendon said. "This curfew is not for me. It's for you and your families."

Newsweek attempted to contact the West Memphis Mayor's office for further comment but was unable to reach a representative.

McClendon announced a curfew for West Memphis and Crittenden County on April 6 as the mayor claimed residents were ignoring social distancing rules.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is one of the few state authorities who has yet to issue a stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

Google Street View West Memphis
West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon stressed the importance of local residents following CDC guidelines on social distancing. Google

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.