Some local businesses are maintaining mask policies, regardless of city and state mandates.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's statewide mask mandate expired Wednesday, but Rogers' and Fayetteville's mayors say city face mask ordinances and orders are still in effect in certain places in an attempt to prevent the spread of the covid-19 virus.
"I totally respect Fayetteville for doing it, and I'm so happy that we are," said Anna Adams, sales manager of David Adams Fine Jewelry on West Center Street in Fayetteville.
Face masks were required in public places since July 20 in Arkansas, when it wasn't possible to remain 6 feet from others, under Hutchinson's Executive Order 20-43.
Mask ordinances were first implemented at the city level by Fayetteville in June, followed by Little Rock, before the July statewide mandate took effect.
Adams said Saturday she'd want staff and customers to continue wearing masks at this time, even if the city lifted the requirement to do so.
"That's just more of a respect thing for everyone," she said, adding all the businesses she frequents in Northwest Arkansas still require wearing face masks.
Dela Billingsley, owner of Dela DeVille's Vintage clothing store on West Emma Avenue, said Saturday she's still requiring customers wear masks, even though Springdale no longer has the requirement.
"We definitely think that the mask ordinance should have been kept in place a little longer -- at least until everyone had the opportunity to become vaccinated," Billingsley said.
Wearing masks is in the best interest of her employees and patrons, she said.
"We just want to protect our employees and our customers as best as we can, and we think that the masks definitely could help with that."
Customers have been understanding when asked to don a mask in her store, Billingsley said.
"If they may not come in wearing a mask, they're willing to put one on when asked," she said. "We also provide masks for them if they do not have their own, so that makes it a little bit easier."
Brianna Cole, 24, said she had no issues wearing a mask Saturday while visiting the Fayetteville Farmers' Market and businesses on the Downtown Square.
"I actually don't think it's that big of a deal and it's what we can do to make it better for other people who are at risk," she said.
Josh Hannon, 24, of Kansas City, Mo., said he felt safe shopping as visitor to Fayetteville because of the mask policy.
"I don't see a lot of people not wearing masks right now," he said.
Billingsley said she'll maintain the mask requirement in her store for the time being.
"I'll definitely feel a little bit better after everyone's had the opportunity to become vaccinated," she said. "We'll have it in place at least another month, potentially longer."
Hannon said he hopes the community remains respectful of store mask requirements.
"I hope that people continue to have compassion while other people are still getting the vaccine and we're in this transition," he said. "It's not just over because this ordinance was lifted."
Cole credited wearing masks for some of the progress the country has made limiting the spread of the covid-19 virus.
"We didn't get here by not doing the right thing, so let's continue doing that until we are confident that we have wiped it out and everyone is vaccinated and safe," she said. "I'd hate to be overly confident and then lose more lives because of it."
Guidance for wearing masks to help slow the spread of covid-19 is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html .
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention