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The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Amid COVID Uptick, Gov. Cautions AR Families Gathering for Holiday


Wednesday, November 24, 2021   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - As Arkansans prepare to spend time with family for Thanksgiving, Gov. Asa Hutchinson is warning folks to be cautious as coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise.

Compared with last week, Arkansas has seen 900 more COVID cases so far this week. About a year ago, the state began to see an increase in positive cases that led to a deadly, multi-week surge. If you're having Thanksgiving dinner with unvaccinated loved ones, the governor said it's important to remain physically distant when possible.

"The precautions that I ask everyone to take as you get ready for Thanksgiving are simply to be mindful that COVID is still in our communities," he said. "Protect yourself by getting vaccinated. If you haven't got your booster shot, get a booster shot."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that unvaccinated guests wear well-fitting face masks when indoors, and for people hosting or attending a gathering to cancel plans if they experience COVID-19 symptoms.

Hutchinson also discussed the topic of "natural immunity" - the prospect that people previously infected have some COVID-19 antibodies that provide some protection from reinfection. Hutchinson cited health experts who say the natural immunity doesn't last forever, and the vaccine is more likely to keep you healthy.

"Just like a vaccine over time loses some of its effectiveness, the natural immunity loses its effectiveness and loses it more quickly," he said. "I would encourage everybody to go ahead and get your vaccination, even if you've had COVID; as soon as you recover, you should consider to do that."

More than half of Arkansans age 5 and older are fully vaccinated. Since being approved by the Food and Drug Administration and CDC earlier this month, more than 19,000 kids ages 5 to 11 in the state have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

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