Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Hutchinson rethinking mask mandates in schools as cases rise

Coronavirus

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark – Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he’s rethinking the decision to forbid masks mandates in schools. 

That statement came out of Wednesday’s COVID-19 community conversation in Heber Springs. 
Gov. Hutchinson said at the time the bill was signed into law cases and hospitalizations were low in Arkansas. 

“At that point, we thought we were over the coronavirus and the pandemic,” said Hutchinson. “Leadership is adjusting to what is a changing environment and the curveball that we’ve been throw with the Delta Variant.” 

Hutchinson said he wants to talk more with Arkansas school districts before making a decision whether or not to call a special session. 

More than 50 people attended the conversation at Heber Springs High School Wednesday. Vaccines were at the top of the discussion. 

Gov. Hutchinson said 37 percent of people 18 years and older in Cleburne County have been fully immunized. He said he wants that number at 50 percent. 

“Everyone is measuring risk right now, what’s the risk of getting a vaccine versus not getting the vaccine and when you start measuring those risks, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion, the vaccine is what’s going to protect us,” said Governor Hutchinson. 

Questions were also answered about breakthrough cases. Governor Hutchinson and doctors at the meeting said about 10 percent of people who have been vaccinated will get COVID but their symptoms will be way less. 

Hutchinson said he felt the conversation went well and hope more will get vaccinated. 
The Governor will continue his conversations Friday in Benton County. 

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