LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has issued an order requiring people to wear masks in public throughout the state, which is dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases.
The Republican governor issued the order Thursday after weeks of resisting such a requirement. His decision, which takes effect Monday, follows growing support from business and health leaders and comes a day after Bentonville-based Walmart said it would require customers to wear masks in all of its U.S. stores.
Hutchinson had resisted calls for a mask mandate but allowed cities to require them. COVID-19 cases have surged in Arkansas since the state aggressively began lifting restrictions in May to reopen its economy.
In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey issued a statewide mask mandate on Wednesday.