The city of Little Rock will continue to require the use of masks despite a state mandate being lifted on Tuesday.
Following Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s announcement that the statewide mask mandate would be lifted in Arkansas, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. took to social media to make his own announcement. He stated that the city of Little Rock would continue its mask mandate for an additional 30 days.
City officials, he stated, would revisit the mask mandate every 30 days to review it and hear from public health experts.
Arkansas Money & Politics has reached out to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office for comment on the Little Rock decision.
This is not the first time that the city of Little Rock has seemingly clashed with state government. On June 25, 2020, Scott signed an executive order requiring the wearing of face masks when in public in Little Rock. At the time, there was no statewide mask mandate in Arkansas, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson had opposed local mask ordinances, stating that the state should have consistency and that public education efforts were not complete at the time. (Little Rock, however, was not the first city to adopt a mask ordinance. Fayetteville was the first Arkansas city to mandate public mask wearing.)
However, Hutchinson signed an executive order in early July 2020 allowing Arkansas towns and cities to pass local ordinances concerning mask requirements. Hutchinson instituted a statewide mask mandate on July 20, which has been in effect until Tuesday, March 30, 2021.