Lawmakers meet to debate masks mandate ban; Division of Training launched COVID-19 steering

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – The natural state reports another day of thousands of new COVID-19 cases and the Department of Education releases new COVID-19 guidelines for the coming school year as Governor Asa Hutchinson rethinks a law banning state and local masking requirements.

“The time for talks is over,” said State Senator Jim Hendren (I-2). “The governor has to make a phone call and the legislature has to come down and do our job.”

The possible decision to hold a special session is supported by some lawmakers such as State Senator Jim Hendren and State Representative Nicole Clowney (D-86).

“I think we owe it to our students, our teachers, and our staff to enable local decision-makers to choose what is best for their communities,” said Clowney.

State Senator Trent Garner (R-27) endorsed the law. He was not available for an interview but made a statement.

I absolutely do not agree to call a special meeting. The best solution is to give people freedom of choice and not to force another big government mandate that is doomed to fail. “


“I understand that lawmakers like to be in control of things, but I think the consequences of that can be devastating,” said Hendren.

With the state and local ban on the mask mandate in the air until further notice, the Ministry of Education has released new COVID-19 guidelines for schools outside a mask mandate. The guide updates the quarantine rules.

The local teacher shares concerns about the coming school year amid the COVID-19 surge

Now, students who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not need to be quarantined if they are not experiencing symptoms, as long as both those infected and those exposed have properly worn masks.

The Arkansas Department of Education publishes new guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year

The department also urges schools to follow the latest CDC recommendations on masking.

Finally, schools are encouraged to vaccinate as many students as possible from the age of 12.

You can find more information about the instructions here.


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