Arkansas governor: No local mask mandates when state’s ends

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FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2018 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at the National Governor Association 2018 winter meeting in Washington. Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation banning most abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, a prohibition that could be the strictest in the country. The House on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill, which Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor says cities won’t be able to enforce their own mask mandates to curb coronavirus’s spread when the state’s requirement ends as soon as next week.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Tuesday he expected Arkansas’ mandate to end March 31 since the state has so far met the requirements for new cases and hospitalizations he set for its end.

Arkansas’ virus hospitalizations and new active cases continued to drop on Tuesday. An attempt to override Hutchinson’s veto of a bill requiring the state to refund fines imposed on businesses for violating virus restrictions also failed on Tuesday.

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