Arkansas lawmakers adjourn, leave mask mandate ban intact


Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson stands next to a chart displaying COVID-19 hospitalization data as he speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, July 29, 2021. Hutchinson announced he was calling a special session to take up a proposal to lift the state’s ban on face mask mandates in public schools. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers are leaving the state’s mask mandate ban in place, ending a special session called to revisit the prohibition for schools because of the state’s COVID-19 surge.

The majority-Republican Legislature on Friday adjourned the session that GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson had called to consider rolling back the ban for some schools.

Hutchinson signed the ban in April but said the change was needed to protect children under 12 who can’t get vaccinated as the state’s virus cases and hospitalizations skyrocket.

The delta variant and Arkansas’ low vaccination rate are fueling the surge.

A House panel on Thursday rejected two measures to allow some school districts to issue mask requirements.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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