Arkansas intensive care units (ICU) are at capacity after a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant.
Earlier this week, Governor Asa Hutchinson warned residents during a press conference, telling reporters, “Everyone should know the strain this puts on our hospitals and the need to get our vaccinations and how critical our bed space is. That is a cautionary note for everyone and should emphasize the need to get our vaccinations done.” The state’s department of health reports that 46 percent of eligible residents have received both vaccine doses.
A COVID-19 forecast from a state college in Arkansas reported, “As we said in our June report, ‘COVID-19 is not over in Arkansas. It is, at best, smoldering.’ Well, COVID is no longer smoldering. It has broken out into a raging forest fire that will grow in size and strength. If our forecasts hold true, Arkansas will cross a new milestone.”
The forecast referred to the uptick in delta variant cases, predicting, “By Aug. 30, more than 7,000 Arkansans will have died of COVID-19.” In the last month, Governor Hutchinson expressed regret for his handling of COVID-19, with reference to his ban on mask mandates.
Hutchinson said, “I signed it at the time because our cases were at a very low point. I knew that it would be overridden by the Legislature if I didn’t sign it. Everything has changed now. And yes — in hindsight, I wish that had not become law.”
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AXIOS
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