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  • Sara Doan

A-State, BRTC to keep masking, social distancing measures in place

JONESBORO, Ark- Multiple universities are continuing their mask mandates and social distancing measures for the time being.

Arkansas State University and Black River Technical College will continue to keep their mask requirements and social distancing measures in place.

This comes as the statewide mask mandate expired last Wednesday, March 31st.

“Our faculty, when we consulted with them, wanted us to maintain masks in the classroom and on campus,” says chief communications officer Bill Smith. “Also, it’s a little bit of a logistics challenge bring all of our six-foot spacing back in on short notice.”

Smith says they will keep the measures in place until the end of the semester.

Students on the A-State campus have mixed views about continuing to mask up.

But they say they do understand the reasoning to keep the requirements in place.

“With glasses and it being hard to see in class, it fogs up. But I understand why it’s needed but, personally, I just wish it would go away,” says student Alex Tink.

Tink is not alone.

For me, I would say…I don’t really- I understand the need for it due to the health and safety concern of others. But for me personally, sometimes it’s hectic walking up and downstairs having breathing problems and stuff,” says A-State student Denver Hinson.

Arkansas State isn’t the only one keeping its policies in place.

Black River Technical College will still require one to wear masks on their campuses.

As the Arkansas Department of Health still strongly suggests, the public continues wearing face coverings.

“And for us to finish out this academic term. We’ve been able with our safety measure- been able to keep the [Coronavirus] numbers fairly low. And, so, we just didn’t feel like it was a necessary risk that we didn’t’ want to take at this time,” says BRTC vice president Jason Smith.

Both A-State and BRTC say they will wait until the spring semester ends to determine if their mask and social distancing mandates will stay in place for summer classes.


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