Gov. Hutchinson cancels National Guard training at Fort Chaffee due to COVID-19 concerns

The federal rules do not allow COVID-19 testing for each guardsman, which would be important for everyone’s safety, according to the governor.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Gov Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday (July 1) that the upcoming National Guard training exercise at Fort Chaffee has been canceled. 

He says the reason for the cancellation is because federal rules do not allow COVID-19 testing for each guard member.

Thousands of guardsmen were expected to start their training at Fort Chaffee in July.

As of July 1, there are 420 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, totaling 21,197. 5,757 of those are considered active cases.

There are seven new deaths related to the virus, totaling 277 in the state. 

275 patients are hospitalized, which is a decrease of 15 in the last 24 hours. Five more are on ventilators, totaling 72. An additional 632 patients have recovered from the virus, totaling 15,163. 

Over 8,000 tests have been done in the last 24 hours in Arkansas.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing, the governor said in order for there to be college and high school football this fall, Arkansans need to wear their masks now.

“If we want football, high school football, high school sports this year, and beyond that in college, we need to concentrate on this mask now,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “There’s a connection between the two. We wear our masks, we reduce the cases, we reduce the growth, we stop the spread of the virus. And that puts us in a better position to have some type of team sports this fall.” 

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