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April 13, 2023
Arkansas saw the single biggest one-day increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations, leaving only eight intensive care unit beds open in the entire state, authorities said Monday.
With 1,376 people hospitalized for the virus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson pleaded with constituents to get vaccinated. “Today’s report shows some very startling numbers,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “We saw the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations and have eclipsed our previous high of Covid hospitalizations. There are currently only eight ICU beds available in the state. Vaccinations reduce hospitalizations.”
Jeff Tabor, program director for Arkansas’s COVIDComm system, which matches Covid-19 patients with hospitals, theorized that the ICU crunch is due to both the virus’s recent spread and patients who put off other medical procedures during the pandemic.
“I fear that we’re at a moment moment where any (patient with) time-sensitive disease will be affected,” Tabor told NBC News on Tuesday. “(Patients who need treatment for) Covid, trauma, stroke, heart attack, sepsis, anyone critically ill with diabetes, so much more will be impacted by the lack of resources.”
Arkansas is behind the rest of the country in vaccinating its population. Just 42.9% of people in Arkansas, age 12 and up, are fully vaccinated, per state health authorities. Nationally, the average is 58.7%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Sunday, the state’s seven-day average of new cases was 2,351, up 24% from the previous two weeks and the highest tally since January.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNN