October 25, 2021

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COVID NEWS IN BRIEF: Sick-pay plan OK’d for Arkansas Tech

Sick-pay plan OK’d for Arkansas Tech

Arkansas Tech University will extend covid-19 sick-pay coverage for faculty and staff through Aug. 30, 2022, the board of trustees decided Thursday.

The university’s existing covid-19 sick pay procedure was scheduled to end Sept. 30.

Approved sick leave related to covid-19 will be classified as such and will not be charged to the employee’s accrued time for up to a maximum of 80 hours.

The approval affects employees at both the Russellville and Ozark campuses.

— Democrat-Gazette

HarvestFest is back but with restrictions

HarvestFest in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock will be held Oct. 30 with restrictions to help mitigate the spread of covid-19.

The festival wasn’t held last year because of the pandemic.

Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative covid-19 test. This requirement applies to anyone making a purchase from any vendor or the beer garden, attending or participating in the dog show, accessing the VIP area, or being at the fall concert venue.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

Vendors, food truck operators and volunteers will also have to show proof of vaccine or a negative covid-19 test.

Festival attendees must go to one of the check-in booths along Kavanaugh Boulevard and show their identification with a vaccine card or a negative covid-19 test result dated within the past three days. Screenshots of the vaccine card or test result will be allowed.

The attendees will wear a wristband that will allow them access to all areas of the festival.

Vendors and volunteers will be able to submit their proof ahead of time if they choose.

“We canceled HarvestFest in 2020 due to the pandemic and the fact that a vaccine was not yet available,” said HarvestFest chairman Steve Shuler in a news release. “This year, with the widespread availability of the vaccine and a better understanding of how the disease spreads, we believe that we can hold HarvestFest safely with these restrictions in place.”

Because of the pandemic, several parts of the festival will not happen this year, including a gumbo cook-off.

The kids area will not be open as usual. Instead, they will be able to get a grab-and-go item to take home.

HarvestFest proceeds primarily go to the Allen School. Proceeds from the HarvestFest Dog Show go to Friends of the Animal Village, which supports the animal shelter.

— Democrat-Gazette

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