Hutchinson wants ‘off-ramp’ not ‘cliff’ to end mask mandate

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson removes his mask before a briefing at the state capitol Monday‚ July 2020 in Little Rock. As more states are enacting requirements for people to wear masks to curb a surge of coronavirus cases, they’re facing resistance from the police expected to enforce those orders. Several law enforcement agencies in Arkansas have said they won’t enforce Hutchinson’s mask mandate that took effect this week. (Staci Vandagriff/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson says residents will be required to wear masks in public through at least the end of the month, but health officials are developing criteria for when to lift the measure aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Hutchinson tells “Fox News Sunday” that he loosened restrictions on businesses but wanted a gradual approach to face coverings. This contrasts to the swift rollbacks of mast mandates in the neighboring states of Texas and Mississippi.

The Republican governor says, “we wanted an off-ramp, we didn’t want a cliff.” Health experts say masking is among the most effective ways to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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