Cities to discuss possible end to mask mandate after CDC announcement

KNWA

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented new mask guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans, giving them more freedom in and outdoors.

It’s encouraging and I’m super excited about it.

MAYOR GREG HINES, CITY OF ROGERS

People with a full vaccination no longer need to wear their masks inside or outside, in large or small settings — but the CDC is still requiring everyone, even the fully vaccinated, to wear a mask on a plane, or other public transportation.

The question is: What does this mean for local cities with mask ordinances already in place?

Rogers Mayor Greg Hines told KNWA/FOX24 at the next city council meeting, an item to repeal the current mask ordinance will be on the table.

“The proposed repeal will go in effect on the 27 of May at 3:43 p.m.,” he said. “Which is when the last bell rings at the high school.”

Fayetteville City Health Officer Dr. Marti Sharkey said the updated guidance from the CDC proves the vaccine is effective.

It prevents you from getting sick, it prevents you from transmitting the virus unknowingly, and it prevents against variants — so all great news!

DR. MARTI SHARKEY, FAYETTEVILLE HEALTH OFFICER

While this is great news, she said there’s one issue.

“We don’t know who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” Dr. Sharkey said. “We have to realize that we’re not going to know that.”

Dr. Sharkey said this means we will have to trust and rely on one another — whether that means to keep the mask or not.

Mayor Hines said he’s confident the residents of Rogers will do just that.

“We would support any of the businesses that wanted to do that, for whatever time period they deem that to be reasonable for their employees as well as their patrons,” he said. “We’re not saying this is over, throw in the towel, we are saying this is the next step towards getting to normal and that’s really what the message is.”

The City of Rogers announces that an item to repeal the current mask ordinance will be presented at the next City Council meeting on 5/25.  The proposed repeal has an effective date of 5/27 at 3:43 PM when the last bells ring at Rogers High School and Heritage High School. The Board of Rogers Public Schools determined to finish the school year with masks in place in the district.  Mayor Hines and the City Council have been committed to helping finish the school year strong. Additionally, when the State of Arkansas mask mandate was lifted, the COVID-19 vaccine was not available to all categories of recipients.  Allowing residents of Rogers the opportunity to obtain the vaccine, if they so choose, was also a deciding factor. The City of Rogers mask ordinance remains in place until it is repealed by City Council or as long as Governor Hutchinson’s emergency executive order is in place.

To view the City Council meeting via Zoom at 6:30 PM on Tuesday 5/25, please follow this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86414455753.

CITY OF ROGERS MASK ORDINACE PRESS RELEASE

The City of Fayetteville also has a mask ordinance in place.

Dr. Marti Sharkey told KNWA/FOX24 the Fayetteville Board of Health will soon present its updated COVID-19 recommendations to the mayor and council members.

Stay with KNWA/FOX24 as we continue to follow this story.

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