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WATCH: Governor announces end of COVID-19 state of emergency

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 11:44 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday the current COVID-19 State of Emergency will end on May 30.

“The reason that we’re ending the public health emergency declaration is that everybody in Arkansas knows what to do,” he said. “Our hospitalizations are down. Every adult in Arkansas, in fact 12-plus years of age, have access to vaccines.”

The governor added that we are no longer under an emergency, but the state will continue to maintain its efforts to manage the virus.

“My emergency orders--from telemedicine and liability protections--have been enacted into law, so there are not any emergency orders that are dependent upon the public emergency continuing,” he said.

“We are still in a pandemic,” the governor cautioned. “The fact that I am ending the declaration of the public health emergency does not change the fact that we still have the COVID-19 virus in our community.”

Hutchinson added that “everyone in Arkansas needs to continue to take the virus seriously.”

He urged residents to get vaccinated and protect themselves from the virus.

To that end, the governor announced a $6.4 million ad campaign designed to encourage the public to get vaccinated with an additional $2 million ad campaign targeted at minorities.

Watch the whole press conference here:

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