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Covid news in brief: UA students comply with masking rules

by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | September 4, 2021 at 4:28 a.m.

UA students comply with masking rules

FAYETTEVILLE -- Classroom compliance with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville's indoor mask mandate so far has been "very good this semester," university spokesman Mark Rushing said in an email Friday.

Rushing said UA has tallied 10 complaints of mask non-compliance across campus settings, including some related to classroom non-compliance. The university's fall semester classes began Aug. 23.

UA put into place an indoor mask mandate on Aug. 11, doing so after a resolution approved by the University of Arkansas board of trustees. Health officials say that wearing face coverings can help to reduce the spread of covid-19.

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"If there is a failure to comply with the university's masking guidance, a warning letter or a simple conversation will be had to help educate the individual about the importance of mask wearing indoors. That's all that we've had to do this semester," Rushing said.

Tim Kral, a biology professor, said in an email that he teaches a General Microbiology class with an in-person attendance of about 200 students.

"So far, mask compliance has been fine in my class," Kral said in an email.

On the UA campus, face coverings are required in classrooms. They also are required in other indoor situations on campus where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, Rushing said.

-- Jaime Adame

Concert switches to safer outdoor venue

A planned indoor concert has been moved to an outdoor venue because of an "increasing hesitance to host large events indoors" at a time of a jump in covid-19 cases, organizers said.

The Paul Harris and the Cleverlys concert, scheduled for Sept. 23, will be at the Izard County Fairgrounds, which organizers said is a safer venue because it is outdoors. Originally, the concert was scheduled to take place at the Miller Auditorium on the Ozarka College campus in Melbourne.

The benefit concert had already been rescheduled from April 2020 to Sept. 23 because of the pandemic.

Benefits from the 6:30 p.m. concert go to the Earnie Blackley Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Steaks 4 Sheepdogs organization. Blackley, a former Izard County sheriff, died of cancer in January 2020 at age 58 and the college is building an endowment for a scholarship in his name. Steaks 4 Sheepdogs is an organization that comes to the aid of fallen officers and their families.

Tickets are on sale for $20 online at

-- Democrat-Gazette staff

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