Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expanding the number of individuals who are allowed to gather for large indoor events. During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, he announced that the state has issued a new public health directive allowing large indoor events to be held with more than 100 individuals, provided that a plan is submitted to the proper state agency.
Under the new directive, plans are required to be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health for indoor events more than 100 attendees. Events with 100 or fewer attendees are required to comply with ADH guidelines but are not required to submit a plan.
Events that fall under this directive include meetings, training sessions, lectures, birthday parties and weddings.
According to the directive, event capacity must be determined according to the ability to space individuals six feet apart. Performers and presenters at events must be separated from crowds by at least 12 feet, and the ADH specifies that microphones and lecterns should be sanitized after each use.
The directive also states that at events such as weddings, dancing is prohibited “due to the close personal contact that is required/anticipated.” However, dancing between the bride, groom and their respective parents is allowed “provided they maintain physical distance from all other attendees.”
In addition, the governor has issued a directive allowing for large outdoor events with 100 or fewer attendees to be held without a submitted plan. Under the directive, a venue can hold an event at 66 percent capacity with an ADH-approved plan.
This directive applies to outdoor events such as concerts, weddings, plays, sporting events, rodeos, races parades, fairs and more, whether they are held by commercial, community or civic organizations.
Hutchinson also said that the state will now allow community sports between two or more teams to be held in Arkansas. The host venue will be responsible for public health guideline compliance, he said.