Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in a press conference held Thursday that, in response to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations, he is reinstating Arkansas's public health emergency. He mentioned that his office is exploring multiple avenues in the interest of finding additional staffing resources for hospitals. A surge response team has also been deployed by the White House at his request to evaluate possible solutions for maximizing hospital capacity.
Further, the governor said he would call a special session of the Arkansas legislature to lift Act 1002's prohibition on mask requirements for kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools, because vaccines have not yet been authorized for children under age 12.
Watch the press conference