Arkansas doesn’t have any intensive care unit beds out there for COVID-19 sufferers as a surge in virus instances continues to overwhelm the state’s well being system, Gov. Asa Hutchinson introduced Tuesday.
Hutchinson mentioned Tuesday marked the primary time for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started that no ICU beds had been out there for COVID-19 sufferers. Virus sufferers make up about half of the state’s ICU beds. The variety of virus sufferers in ICUs and on ventilators reached a brand new excessive within the state on Monday.
“Everybody ought to know the pressure this places on our hospitals and the necessity to get our vaccinations and the way essential our mattress area is,” Hutchinson advised reporters at a information convention.
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Hutchinson mentioned hospitals within the state had been working to open extra ICU beds for virus sufferers Arkansas Division of Well being Chief of Employees Renee Mallory mentioned one hospital deliberate to open further beds later Tuesday and presumably later within the week. The state on Monday reported it had 22 ICU beds out there, however solely a handful had been outfitted to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.
Arkansas ranks fifth within the nation for brand new instances per capita, in keeping with figures compiled by Johns Hopkins College researchers. Arkansas has one of many lowest vaccination charges within the nation, with 40% of the state’s inhabitants absolutely vaccinated.
Dr. Jose Romero, the state’s well being secretary, mentioned the surge in instances is constant to maintain the state’s ICU capability tight.
“The extra beds we open up, the extra they’re going to get crammed,” Romero advised reporters.
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In a report issued earlier Tuesday, public well being researchers forecast that the state’s loss of life toll from COVID-19 will exceed 7,000 by Aug. 30. Arkansas on Monday reported 6,704 folks have died from the virus for the reason that pandemic started.
“If this forecast holds true, COVID-19 could have killed extra Arkansans than all of the wars within the twentieth and twenty first centuries,” the forecast by the College of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman Faculty of Public Well being mentioned.
The researchers’ forecast additionally predicted the variety of youngsters hospitalized on account of COVID-19 will improve by 20% by way of Aug. 30 and 34% by way of Sept. 14.
“Hospitalizations and sufferers requiring intensive instances have reached document numbers and put our hospital system in a precarious place,” the report mentioned. The report’s cowl featured a photograph of a forest hearth, a reference to how UAMS researchers have described the state’s surge in instances and hospitalizations.
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