UPDATE, July 10, 2020, 3:20 p.m.: A discussion of regarding the use of face masks is on the agenda of the July 14 Batesville City Council meeting that was released Friday afternoon.
Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh dropped by the White River Now studios Friday morning for a wide-ranging interview with our own Gary Bridgman that will be aired in full next week on The Official Word, sponsored by First Community Bank, on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and at the same time Wednesday morning on 93 KZLE. White River Now will also post the full interview next week.
One issue touched upon in the interview is Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s current stance on letting Arkansas cities decide on whether their residents should be required to wear a mask.
“This is simple,” the mayor told Gary B. “I highly recommend to wear a mask. When I go out in public, I go to Walmart…I go to Tripp Supply — I wear a mask. But I think the main thing we need to be is respectful of one another. When we are on an aisle, be respectful of that [other] person if they don’t have a mask on. Yes, I encourage everyone to have a mask. Our businesses — I would love for our business to step up and say, ‘Please wear a mask in here.’ But like I said, that’s their well-being, and I am going to leave it up to them at this point right now — but it is a [Batesville City] Council decision.”
Elumbaugh said it was also important to avoid crowds during the COVID-19 crisis. Until a vaccine has been tested, the mayor said we need to respect our health and the health of others, and to do the right thing.
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