LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators in Arkansas rose again Tuesday when the state’s top health official said he was concerned about a further surge in cases starting next Labor Day weekend.
The Ministry of Health said the number of coronavirus patients on ventilators had increased by 27 to 388, for the second day in a row the state hit a new high. The state reported 2,626 new cases and 22 more deaths.
The state’s COVID-19 hospital admissions fell by 45 to 1,212. There are 531 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the state. Only 19 beds are available in the intensive care unit, according to the department, although it is unclear how many are equipped for COVID-19 patients. Governor Asa Hutchinson said the state’s hospitals will add 64 intensive care beds in September.
Arkansas ranks fifth in the country for new cases per capita, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
The State Minister of Health, Dr. Jose Romero said he expected hospital admissions – which exceeded what Arkansas saw during the winter surge – to continue to increase in the coming weeks.
“Every holiday weekend we’ve seen since the pandemic began, the number of cases has increased so we’re concerned,” said Romero.
Romero and Hutchinson also said they were concerned about an increase in cases in children and urged parents of children ages 12 to 18 to get them vaccinated. Hutchinson said 30% of the state’s active virus cases are 18 years old and younger.
The state reported that more than 13,000 additional doses of the vaccine had been given since Monday.
Little Rock’s board of directors on Tuesday also approved the extension of its coronavirus emergency statement, which includes wearing masks around the city’s grounds, until December 29th. The declaration is reviewed by the board every 30 days.
A state law passed in April bans mask mandates by local and state agencies, but an Arkansas judge temporarily blocked that ban.
To report a correction or typing error, please send an email to [email protected]
Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.