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Lyon updates mask policy as case numbers rise across state

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Lyon College updated its mask policy for the spring semester on Monday.

In an online statement, Lyon said it will require all persons to properly wear a mask when indoors in all campus buildings, including academic buildings, Edwards Commons, Becknell Gymnasium, and residence halls in order to safely continue in-person education.

Properly wearing a mask is defined as wearing a mask that covers both the mouth and nose. Disposable medical-grade masks, multi-layered cloth masks, or N95 masks meet the mask requirement.

Additionally, classroom capacity has been decreased from 80 percent to 70 percent.

Also yesterday, groups representing Arkansas’ pediatricians and teachers called for more school districts to require face masks.

Dozens of Arkansas school districts required masks after a state judge blocked a law in August banning such mandates. But many loosened those restrictions as the state’s virus cases eased in the fall.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate in the last seven days hit a new high of 23.8 percent. Hutchinson warned that officials expected record-high new case numbers this week.

According to the Associated Press, the state reported 1,750 new cases Monday.

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