Arkansas judge blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental agencies from requiring masks. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Friday issued a preliminary injunction against the law Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April.

Fox’s decision came shortly after Arkansas lawmakers left the ban in place, ending a session Hutchinson called to consider rolling it back for some schools.

Hutchinson says the change is needed to protect children under 12 who can’t get vaccinated as the state’s virus cases and hospitalizations skyrocket.