LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued an executive order repealing multiple previous executive orders pertaining to COVID-19 that she deemed “obsolete.”
“Today, I signed an Executive Order that terminates five existing Executive Orders on COVID-19 that are obsolete,” she said in a January 13 media release following the order. She added that she “will always put the health, safety, and well-being of Arkansans first.”
“I promised that when I was elected governor, Arkansas would not have mask mandates or vaccine mandates and we would not shut down churches and schools because we believe in personal freedom and responsibility. The first case of COVID-19 was identified more than three years ago, and it is time for Arkansas – and America – to get back to normal.”
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, media release about latest executive order, January 13
The executive order cited five specific, previous executive orders issued in 2020:
- An order on March 30, 2020 created the Arkansas Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Steering Committee.
- One effective April 13, 2020 created the Governor’s Medical Advisory Committee for Post-Peak COVID-19 Response.
- A third on April 21, 2020 created the Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Advisory Group
- An order effective as of May 26, 2020 created the Governor’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Board.
- The final order repealed was effective as of November 13, 2020 and it created the Governor’s COVID-19 Winter Task Force.
She added that “it is the position of this administration to begin prioritizing and promoting other public health challenges.”
On January 12, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed that a new subvariant of COVID-19 has been found in the state. There are currently 5,677 active cases in the state and there have been 12,750 deaths in Arkansas due to COVID-19 during the pandemic.