Gov. Hutchinson: Arkansas hospitals adding ICU and surge beds, nearly half of ICU patients have COVID


FILE – In this July 20, 2020 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson removes his mask before a briefing at the state capitol in Little Rock. Hutchinson has signed into law a measure that would allow doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections. Gov. Hutchinson on Friday, March 26, 2021, signed the legislation, despite objections that it would give medical providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others. (Staci Vandagriff/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that a statewide response plan is increasing the number of hospital beds in Arkansas but also noted just how much critical care is going to residents fighting COVID-19.

In a tweet, Hutchinson explained that using the state’s COVIDCom plan, Arkansas hospitals have been able to add 17 ICU beds around the state, as well as an additional 689 medical surge beds.

Even with the increase in patient capacity, the governor said the situation in medical facilities was “still very tight.”

Hutchinson also noted that 47 percent of the adult patients in ICU beds around Arkansas are COVID-19 patients.

On Monday, officials with the Arkansas Department of Health released updated data showing that the number of Arkansans hospitalized due to COVID-19 and the number of COVID-19 patients requiring a ventilator were at pandemic highs, with 1,459 patients in hospitals around the state and 323 on ventilators.

The ADH reported 856 new cases of the virus on Monday, moving the state’s total to 420,663 and the active case count to 24,098. There were 31 new deaths reported, bringing the state to 6,498.

Health officials reported 1,129,229 Arkansans had been fully immunized from the virus, with another 353,657 having partial immunization.

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