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VERIFY: What is the penalty for not wearing a mask in Arkansas?

Gov. Hutchinson's executive order regarding the mask mandate states a violation could result in up to a $500 fine.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Four months after Gov. Hutchinson announced a statewide mask mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Arkansans still have questions about it, including how it is enforced.

VIEWER QUESTION: 

"I'm curious what can be enforced with the mask mandate for those that don't comply? I wear my mask every time I leave the house but I hear others saying that they can't be made to wear a mask. So what is the penalty for not wearing your mask and can it actually be enforced?"

ANSWER:

You may remember back in July when Arkansas saw a spike in positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. 

At that time, Gov. Hutchinson announced the mask mandate to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus. 

Within his executive order (Ark. Code Ann §§ 20-7-101) – it states a violation of the directive could result in up to a $500 fine.

We also reached out to Little Rock Police Department to find out if their officers can enforce the mandate. The answer is yes. They could issue a criminal citation. 

However, a spokesperson explains, "enforcement is not the primary objective of the Order, or the Little Rock Police Department, education and safety is. The Little Rock Police Department, will as with any situation, base any enforcement of the Order on the facts of the specific situation."

Remember, if there's something you want to be verified, let us help. Email us at verify@thv11.com.