Governor Asa Hutchinson announced during last week’s news conference he has lifted the statewide mask mandate and has also announced that all Arkansans 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The decision to lift the mask mandate came after the Governor, in consultation with Secretary Jose Romero of the Arkansas Department of Health, determined that Arkansas has met the guidelines set on February 26. Businesses still have the right to require customers to wear masks, and the Governor asked that citizens respect these requirements.
“I’ve talked to a number of restaurant owners who will continue requiring masks within their restaurant for the safety of their employees and patrons,” Governor Hutchinson said during his weekly COVID-19 update. “Please be respectful and mindful that, while the mask mandate has been lifted, many businesses will continue to require it.” The Governor has also allowed each school district within the state to implement their policy in regard to the mask usage. The Mansfield School District announced the following, “The Mansfield Board of Directors voted at the March meeting to continue to follow the recommendations of the Arkansas Department of Health. Those recommendations will remain fluid until the pandemic is resolved...Mansfield students should continue to have a mask with them and it is recommended that students and staff should continue to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible.” Mask will be required on any Mansfield School bus until further notice.
Waldron Public School officials currently have a poll on their Facebook page requesting the opinion of the community. The results of the poll will be taken in consideration for the District’s decision on the mask announced that vaccine eligibility is open to all Arkansans 16 and older. “We want Arkansans to get vaccinated because it is our path out of the pandemic. It is the way to get there quicker, and we want to ensure we give every Arkansan that opportunity,” Governor Hutchinson said.