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Contributed photo

Gov. Asa Hutchinson displayed this logo at a press briefing last week. The Springdale Chamber of Commerce uses it to encourage people to wear masks in public.

Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson urges all citizens to practice social distancing and wearing a mask in situations when social distancing is difficult or not possible, but it’s a matter of personal choice.

He said he is often asked why the city doesn’t make a law requiring wearing a mask. Neither he nor the city council can make that a law, he said. The governor is the only one who can make that order.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic became evident in the state health officials have encouraged wearing masks, frequent hand washing and keeping a distance of six feet from another person as efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

As cases of the disease continue to increase, the mayor said it is important that the public continue to follow those recommendations more fervently. He said he has observed more people wearing masks as cases of the disease has spiked.

To combat complacency, the mayor suggested that officials join with the local medical community to produce videos promoting the protocols. He said the local campaign initiated at the start of the pandemic using the number “6” to remind people to social distance will be recharged.

Meanwhile the city is progressing in opening facilities to the public under certain rules.

Parks and Recreation director Chuck Eddington noted that the swimming pool is operating. He noted 80 season passes have been sold. The pool is allowing a maximum capacity of 150 people, but the number using the pool daily is below that number on average. He also noted that 90% of the slots that the pool can be rented for private parties have been booked.

Summer leagues have begun with about 400 participants aged 3-15 years. There are 35 children enrolled in the city’s summer recreation program, Eddington reported.

Thursday night’s regular council meeting was held at the fellowship hall of Real Ministries, located across the street from City Hall, the same location where the council held its special meeting last Monday. The room is large enough to practice social distancing and the acoustics are such that a sound system isn't needed.

The location will serve as home for council meetings in July beginning with the monthly committee meetings July 9 and the regular meeting July 23.

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