The Little Rock Board of Directors has voted to extend the COVID-19 emergency declaration for an additional four months. With this extension, the declaration will continue through August 31.
While the declaration has been extended, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. will review the emergency every 30 days, along with the city’s mask mandate. The mask mandate was also extended during the Tuesday, April 20 meeting.
“I’m grateful to the Board for understanding the need to make those decisions that protect the lives of residents and visitors to our city,” Scott said in a statement. “While vaccinations have helped to dramatically lower the number of new cases, there is still a need for some actions during the next few months as we monitor new infections caused by the original strain or by any the more recently identified strains of COVID-19.”
On Tuesday, March 30, Scott announced that the City of Little Rock would continue its mask mandate despite the lifting of the statewide mandate earlier that day by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He said that the city would maintain the mandate for 30 days and review it at that time.
According to Little Rock chief deputy city attorney Alexander Betton, the city’soriginal declaration of local disaster and emergency was issued on March 26, 2020 and lasted for 120 days before expiring on July 24. It was amended on June 25 to include face coverings.
The declaration was reissued on August 21 with no significant changes and expired on Dec. 29. On that date, the city issued declaration 20-08, which was set to expire on April 28. The city also issued declaration 21-01 to amend declaration 20-08 to include the mask mandate.