Arkansas Lifts Some Restrictions on Smaller Indoor Events

Arkansas Lifts Some Restrictions on Smaller Indoor Events
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (file) (Lance Turner)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted some restrictions Tuesday on smaller indoor events and school sports as the state's coronavirus cases continued trending downward and vaccine distribution ramps up.

Arkansas reported 177 new cases of the virus on Tuesday but testing was greatly decreased because of winter weather that hit the entire state a day earlier, Hutchinson said.

But beyond the weather-related decreases, Arkansas' rolling average of daily new cases over the past two weeks has dropped by nearly 50%, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. 

On Tuesday, the Republican governor lifted a temporary restriction that required any indoor event of 10 people or more to obtain state approval in advance. Indoor events with 100 people or more still require approval under restrictions put in place last fall. 

Planning smaller events such as weddings would be simpler now, the governor said.

“This is not opening up the Wild West,” Hutchinson said. “It's not acting without department approval on major events."

Also Tuesday, the governor lifted a restriction that prohibited schools from holding sports competitions with more than two teams.

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