Eating in the Age of Hep A . . .
Eating out in Corning in the last few years has been a slim choice of places to dine. Although we have our favorite hometown restaurants, it was exciting to see Corning get a Taco Bell, the addition of Halcomb’s and a lot of people like the pizza at Valero’s and Casey’s. Lately our choices have narrowed considerably due to two Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Arkansas Health Department announced this week they expect more outbreaks because five of the infected people were food service workers in county. This is disheartening for our town and community in at least three ways. One, there’s a possibility for several of us to become ill and further spread the disease. Two, it’s a hit to our restaurants and our town’s economy. Clay County broke a state record. This information has spread far and wide. Why would travelers want to stop and eat here once they realize they crossed the county line? It’s not going to affect just one or two restaurants; it has the potential to affect them all. And not only our restaurants, when people don’t stop in Corning to eat, it stands to reason that they may not stop to shop. This couldn’t come at a worse time when we are trying to find ways to improve the economy here. And three, for the food service workers who have the disease through no fault of their own. The ones who caught it just like you and I could; unless they are a drug user and obtained it that way. No one wants to see Corning lose a restaurant because people will not eat there; especially a new restaurant.
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