The Harrison City Council’s resource and policy committee failed to advance a proposed mask ordinance in a meeting Thursday evening in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
A City of Harrison Facebook post notes “the ordinance provided by the state served no purpose because it was unenforceable.”
It goes on to note “the city council and Mayor Jerry Jackson were in agreement that the city should not mandate the use of masks and preferred that we continue to encourage the use of face coverings.”
The ordinance was designed to help city businesses wishing to impose a face mask requirement.
In an earlier Facebook post, it was noted the ordinance would not make masks mandatory. While local businesses already have the ability to require masks in their establishments, Mayor Jackson said business owners are choosing not to do so. He says after speaking to many local owners, he doesn’t feel this will change.
The proposed ordinance was written by the Arkansas Department of Health and Gov. Asa Hutchinson to keep consistency within Arkansas for those cities opting to adopt a face mask requirement.
City officials say while moving away from discussions about mask ordinances and mandates, social distancing, the use of face coverings (when necessary and able) and washing hands to slow the spread of COVID-19 are still encouraged. These measures are encouraged by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association.