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Over 700 quarantined in Marion school district; special session on mask mandate change begins

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson pressed forward with efforts to allow schools to mandate face masks as the state’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge. That’s despite heavy opposition from fellow Republicans.

On Tuesday, Hutchinson called the majority-GOP Legislature back into session to revise the law he signed in April prohibiting mask mandates by schools and other governmental entities. The session started Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an Arkansas school district’s quarantine because of a coronavirus outbreak has grown to more than 700 students and staff as lawmakers debate whether to allow schools to mandate masks.

Marion Superintendent Glen Fenter on Wednesday said 730 students and 10 staff members at his district have had to quarantine since classes began last week.

Fenter said 34 students and nine staff have tested positive for the virus.

In other news regarding COVID-19 in Arkansas, the state’s department of health reported a drop in hospitalizations — a decline of 18 — since Tuesday.

There were just over 1,000 new active cases reported since Tuesday and an additional 11,000-plus vaccine doses given with that 24-hour period.

If you have yet to be immunized against COVID-19, White River Now urges you to talk to your trusted local physician or pharmacist about the COVID-19 vaccine. Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning and afternoon from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and Your FM 99.5. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

For COVID-19 information from the Arkansas Department of Health, click here.

For information from local physicians about COVID-19 vaccines, click here.



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