Late Breaking News
In this week’s issue of the Star Herald, the story covering the Pocahontas City Council meeting stated the mandatory wearing of face masks would not likely be enforced by the City. However, in a press conference Thursday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he will be issuing a statewide mandate for face coverings to go into effect Monday, July 20.
Hutchinson said this was because of the increase of positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. He also cited the fact doctors and nurses who are working on the frontlines have consistently asked for the public to do more. He said if children are going to be required to wear masks to school for their own health and safety, then adults must set the right example for them.
Where are masks required? Face-coverings over the nose and mouth will be required in all in-door environments where individuals are exposed to non-household members and the 6-foot distancing rule cannot be assured. They will also be required outdoors when there is exposure to non-household members, unless the 6-foot distancing guidelines can be assured.
What will happen if the executive order isn’t followed? Violation of a directive from the Secretary of Health during this public health emergency is a misdemeanor offense and punishable by a fine of no less than $100, but no more than $500. First time violators will receive a verbal or written warning. If under the age of 18, violators will only receive this type of punishment. No one will be arrested or detained in violation of the order. However, the order will not prohibit law enforcement or officials from enforcing trespassing laws or other applicable laws in removing violators at the request of a business or property owner.