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You can use the COVID-19 hotline when others aren't wearing their mask in public

If you see retailers and restaurants not complying with the mask mandate, you can call the hotline number and the ADH will take care of it.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As more people are out and about doing last minute Christmas shopping, some are noticing more people not wearing a mask.

Lisa McDougal is just one person noticing more people around her not wearing a face mask. 

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She said she's avoided some stores this holiday season because some businesses are not enforcing the mandate.

McDougal has COPD, so she just won't take a chance.

"Everything you hear on TV, they say wear that mask to protect other people. So, I feel like they don't care about me if they don't wear a mask,” said McDougal.

The Arkansas Department of Health is reminding the community of their hotline number, which is 1-800-803-7847.

You can call that number and make a complaint if you see retailers and restaurants not complying with the mask mandate.  

"Our staff are generally going to go out to those establishments within 24 hours and they are going to offer assistance and understanding and give them some guidance,” said Jeff Jackson, ADH’s retail and food supervisor.

ADH said businesses out of compliance could also face a $500 per-day civil penalty.

"The concern is, as we are moving about and we are exposed to more people, our risk of infection increases,” said Jackson.

That's why ADH not only reminds you to use the hotline, but to also remember the three W's: wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask.

RELATED: Arkansas restaurant owner sounds alarm after COVID-19 cluster hits her kitchen

McDougal is reminding others to think of the most vulnerable when out and about as COVID-19 numbers keep rising.

"If I catch that virus, it could kill me,” said McDougal.

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