JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to lift the statewide mask mandate on March 31, which brings concerns to health officials.
Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle – a Mississippi County Health Officer—feels that it is a mockery of all the hard work healthcare workers have done on the pandemic’s frontlines.
“It’s really a slap in the face,” said Dr. Andrews-Pirtle.
She mentioned that there are not enough immunized people to allow a return to normalcy.
“We’re not quite sure when it’s going to be safe, but if you’re not going to get a vaccine, you’re really not safe,” said the health officer.
Active cases, hospitalizations, and testing have gone down significantly, but Dr. Andrews-Pirtle says that there is no telling if people are spreading the virus.
“You can easily see a surge in cases with those changes in behavior,” she said.
Dr. Andrews-Pirtle suggests that the state considers waiting for two more months, so more people are vaccinated, to consider lifting the mandate.