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Mask mandate lifted, emergency declaration still in place

by Keith Bryant | April 7, 2021 at 5:26 a.m.

While a statewide mask mandate was lifted last week, the city continues to encourage social distancing and the use of face coverings.

According to a statement by Mayor Peter Christie, masks will still be required during court sessions and recommended for anyone visiting inside city facilities -- and required whenever social distancing cannot be maintained inside -- while public meetings will continue to be held online rather than in person.

"This is a positive sign for our state and a move forward toward an end to the global covid-19 pandemic. However, we are not yet completely out of the woods, and it will take individual responsibility to continue on this path and get us all back to a state of normalcy," Christie wrote.

The ban was lifted by Gov. Asa Hutchinson last Tuesday, March 30.

Christie wrote that, while the mandate is lifted, businesses still have the right to require patrons to use face coverings, which he called a small task with the potential to be extremely effective in slowing the spread of covid-19.

Further, he wrote, vaccines have proven safe and effective. As vaccine eligibility continues to open up, Christie said he encourages individuals to get vaccinated to help eradicate this disease.

"I appreciate our residents' perseverance through what has been a hard and unprecedented year," he wrote.

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