DUMAS, Ark. – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke with the Dumas community Tuesday to answers questions related to vaccination efforts and COVID-19 concerns.
The key point of interest was mask-wearing as Arkansas schools prepare to open their doors for many students statewide returning to in-person learning.
Hutchinson said he plans to talk with legislators later Tuesday to discuss these from school officials to repeal the ban on mask mandates in Arkansas, allowing for local school control over requirements of masking.
Both Hutchinson and Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. José Romero said that while mask-wearing in the state is not mandated, it is still highly encouraged as a preventative measure in limiting exposure to COVID-19.
On Monday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 23 new deaths and 61 new hospitalizations, with that number growing toward 1,000 total patients statewide in hospitals.
The CDC is expected to make an announcement later Tuesday on its masking guidelines and a possible recommendation that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the country where COVID-19 is currently surging.