TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Arkansas has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases recently, and Governor Asa Hutchinson said the battle against the virus needs to be fought in rural areas.

In a Zoom meeting with the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Hutchinson said rural areas have the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

He added that he doesn’t expect any changes when it comes to the opening of schools again next month, but he said we don’t know what the future holds. “If we continue to increase our vaccination, we should be able to have school as normal and that’s really the marketing opportunity. Kids need school, athletes need sports, girls need soccer. All of those activities that go with school is critically important to mental health,” he said.

Hutchinson is scheduled to visit Texarkana this Thursday, July 15, at 6 p.m. at the Texarkana, Ark. Convention Center. Hutchinson said people with questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to attend.