Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is warning his state that the eventuality that has been posed as a worst-case scenario since the pandemic began has become a reality: there are no ICU beds available. The hospitals are full and have no more room to take COVID-19 patients.
Hutchinson started his weekly media address with this news, saying he’d just been informed, and urging people to get vaccinated.
“In our pre-discussions, I was informed that our ICU beds for COVID patients are full in Arkansas right now. I share that because everybody should know the strain this is on our hospitals, and the need to get our vaccinations, and how critical our bed space is. It fluctuates day by day but right now because of the increased number of COVID patients
that need that type of ICU care, those beds are full right now.”
He went on to say that hospitals are scrambling to provide additional beds, and to praise the state for getting an additional 10,990 vaccines distributed in the past 24 hours, but still said that number needs to increase, and noted that the average age of hospitalized patients has decreased, noting that this also reflects lower vaccination rates in younger patients.
Hutchinson shared data showing that more than 92% of cases that result in hospitalization are of patients who were not fully vaccinated, and that more than 90% of cases resulting in death are in unvaccinated patients. Hutchinson has previously said he regrets signing into law a ban on mask mandates, limiting how local governments in his state can attempt to protect their people.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com