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Some Arkansas colleges reinstating mask mandates as COVID cases continue surge

With the first day of classes just days away, some colleges around Arkansas are implementing rules to protect the staff and students.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — As COVID-19 cases rise, some colleges decided to put restrictions back in place to ensure students and staff were able to stay safe when they headed back to the classroom. 

With that in mind, something they can once again expect are masks.

"It'll look similar to what it did last year," Kindle Holderby with UA-Little Rock, said. "When you're inside the classrooms, inside our buildings, when you can't socially distance, we will have a mask mandate."

At UA-Little Rock, you must have a face covering on while inside regardless of your vaccination status .

"Our number one goal is to make sure our students, faculty, and staff stay healthy, and to make sure that we can stay open," Holderby said.

Move-in day is next Wednesday and there will be vaccinations given on campus.

The pandemic has created financial strain on families. UA-Little Rock is providing freshmen with a scholarship that will cover 50% of their tuition for the first year.

At Pulaski Technical College, masks are also required indoors. They're also encouraging precautions outside as well.

"We recommend social distancing. If folks are going to be in close contact outside, a mask is probably not a bad idea," Tim Jones, with Pulaski Technical College, said.

Masks and hand sanitizer will be around campus for anyone who needs them. The school said it will update the mask policy as needed.

"We're not going to require masks longer than necessary, but we will revisit the situation frequently and see if it's still the right thing to do," Jones said.


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