University Of Arkansas Board Votes To Require Masks On Campuses

Aug 11, 2021

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is among campuses that will require masks to be worn inside buildings where social distancing can't be guaranteed.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The University of Arkansas’ board of trustees voted Wednesday to require masks on its campuses after a judge temporarily blocked the state’s law banning mask mandates.

The board unanimously approved a resolution directing its campuses to develop face mask policies for indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. The resolution said the policies should be in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has called for indoor masks in areas with high transmission rates of COVID-19.

Arkansas has the fourth highest rate of new COVID-19 cases per capita in the country, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

The move comes days after a judge issued a preliminary injunction against Arkansas’ law banning mask mandates by school and other governmental entities. The judge said the prohibition violated Arkansas’ constitution.

At least three dozen school districts and charter schools have approved mask mandates since the ruling. The University of Central Arkansas on Tuesday said it would require masks on its campus.

The majority-Republican Legislature last week rejected Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s call to roll back the law for some public schools. Hutchinson, a Republican, has said he regrets signing the law and agrees with the judge’s ruling against it.