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Jonesboro pet store keeps COVID policies in place as state emergency expires

Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Sunday marked the first day of Arkansas no longer being under a state of emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic, as Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he’d let the designation expire on May 30.

While most businesses in Northeast Arkansas seem to have lifted their mask mandates, Pet Pro in Jonesboro has decided to keep all of its policies intact.

The decision stems from store owner Kadie Stahl not being impressed with the vaccination rate in Arkansas, as only 31% of Arkansans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

“Pretty much, a lot of people are still not vaccinated or can’t get vaccinated,” Stahl said. “And while it’s still running rampant and cases are still increasing, and all these critters can still get it, we want to partially ensure people are still being healthy, so we’re still requiring the masks.”

Stahl said that a majority of customers are understanding of the policies, which includes wearing a mask and not touching animals, but says some have voiced their displeasure.

“We had a lot of people come in here and huff or complain about it or even straight up leave the store when we told them they are required to wear a mask,” Stahl said.

Stahl said she will think about lifting the store’s policies once vaccination rates increase at a higher speed, and the number of cases continues to go down.

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