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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Gov. Hutchinson urges COVID-19 safety precautions as Labor Day weekend approaches

Governor Asa Hutchinson urges college students to be careful and obey social distancing guidelines this Labor Day weekend.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — During Governor Asa Hutchinson's daily COVID-19 press conference, he urged college students to be careful and obey social distancing guidelines this Labor Day weekend.

Fayetteville Police say it is one of the biggest nights on Dickson Street each week.

The emphasis on college students following the guidelines is due to Washington County seeing 211 new positive cases reported from Wednesday (Sept. 2).

The governor says over 80% of those cases came from the age group of 18-24. 

“So I think it can safely be surmised that many of those new cases are college students,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

The University of Arkansas is reporting 399 active cases on campus. The governor says he sees the connection and warns that students need to be more careful

“I want to urge all of the college students as always we go into the Labor Day weekend I understand many will probably not be going home since they just got on campus so they will be around and I have some free time and you’ve got to be cautious over this weekend,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Fayetteville Police say they will have more officers on Dickson Street Thursday and through the weekend to enforce COVID-19 guidelines. 

The governor is also calling on local establishments to help monitor as well.

“This can do some damage to a lot of people and there is long-term damage, I just hope they understand that,” said Michael White, Manager of Farrell’s Lounge.

White says they've shut down the bar portion of the restaurant.

“That’s the nature of bars, I know people congregate and walk around and it’s a little harder to control,” White said.

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