Arkansas governor, top lawmakers to meet on mask mandate ban


FILE – In this April 27, 2020, file photo, Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his Arkansas Razorbacks facemark as he arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock. A longtime abortion opponent who once opposed allowing gay couples to be foster parents, Gov. Hutchinson is the unlikeliest figure to complain about bills on the “culture wars” reaching his desk. (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he plans to talk with legislative leaders about the growing calls to allow schools to require face masks as the state’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations continued to grow.

The Republican governor on Monday said he planned to discuss the issue with GOP leaders of the state House and Senate.

This follow calls from Democratic lawmakers and others to lift a new law banning mask mandates by state and local governments.

Arkansas’ COVID-19 deaths grew by 23 and its hospitalizations rose by 61.

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