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State Representative responds to Peacemaker Festival's lack of social distancing

State Representative Jay Richardson released a statement on Facebook concerning the Peacemaker Festival's lack of social distancing.

The Peacemaker Festival is one of the few largely crowded events happening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

5NEWS has been in contact with a woman who says she took a COVID-19 test last week after feeling sick. She decided to go to the festival after feeling better but got her results back today and they were positive.

Arkansas Health Department says they are aware of this and are looking into it. Peacemaker Festival has not responded with a comment.

The festival started yesterday and ends tonight. Tickets were sold out for this event and according to the state's directives for outdoor venues, 66% of the capacity was allowed to fill up.

There has been controversy on Facebook when a picture was shared showing large gatherings of people. Attendees say the event did its part to notify everyone of the rules.

“You have to put your mask on, they give you hand sanitizer, and they’re basically telling you all the protocols for it and once you go inside everything is gridded off... between every artist that would come on they would also put COVID-19 protocols on the screens,” said Kelsey Tomlinson, an attendee from yesterday and today.

Kelsey says she did think generally it was a big sized crowd. She did say that sanitation was practiced strongly with people cleaning the port o potties every time someone used them.

State Representative Jay Richardson released a statement on Facebook concerning the Peacemaker Festival's lack of social distancing. 

In the post, he says, "Yesterday evening an associate shared the following photo with me. It was taken at yesterday’s Peacemaker Festival and as you can see, masks are not being worn in high numbers and social distancing is not being practiced. While I respect people’s right and need to socialize and participate in community events, I must urge concert-goers to practice social distancing and wear a mask. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that is beginning to spread in high numbers within our own community. Everybody must share in the responsibility to curb the spread of COVID-19. Please, as mandated by the governor, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. We can navigate the parameters of this virus and still engage socially, but only if we are responsible in doing so. Be well, stay safe, and think community!"

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