Arkansas district’s virus quarantine grows as masks debated

Arkansas News

State Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-Hensley, presents HB1003, which would amend the state ban on mask mandates, during the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. (Tommy Metthe/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas school district’s quarantine because of a coronavirus outbreak has grown to more than 700 students and staff as lawmakers are debating whether to allow schools to mandate masks.

Marion Superintendent Glen Fenter on Wednesday said 730 students and 10 staff members at his district have had to quarantine since classes began last week.

Fenter said 34 students and nine staff have tested positive for the virus.

Arkansas lawmakers are meeting this week to take up Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proposal to allow some schools to mandate masks as the state’s coronavirus cases continue growing.

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