State Watch

Arkansas ordering concert canceled despite social distancing steps

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said a Travis McCready concert scheduled for Friday would not be allowed to go on, despite assurances that it would follow social distancing guidelines, saying the venue had not followed proper procedures.

“You can’t just arbitrarily determine when the restrictions are lifted. That is something that is done based on a public health requirement,” Hutchinson said in a news conference Tuesday, according to NBC News.

The concert at Temple Live in Fort Smith was expected to draw more than 200 people. The state Department of Health had said indoor events with more than 50 people must submit a detailed plan to the department and operate at 34 percent capacity or less.

“Even if you’re going to have 250 people at a venue, you still have to have a specific plan that would be approved by the Department of Health. None of that was done in this case,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson added that the department would send the venue a cease and desist letter.

Tickets for the event were still on sale as of Wednesday morning, and the link to buy tickets was the most recent tweet from Temple Live’s Twitter account.

A spokesman for the venue told a local NBC affiliate last month that the event would follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, adding that, to his knowledge, it was the first live show announced after restrictions were imposed nationwide to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus earlier this year.

The Hill has reached out to Temple Live for comment.

Tags concert Coronavirus Travis McCready

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