Aug 24, 2021 - Health

Arkansas governor says no more ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients

Picture of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

There are no more intensive care unit beds available for coronavirus patients due to a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It is the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that ICU beds are full in the state, AP reports. The state reached a new record on Monday for the number of coronavirus patients currently on ventilators, according to government data.

  • The state on Monday had 22 ICU beds available, but only a few were equipped to handle COVID-19 patients, per AP.

What they're saying: "Everyone should know the strain this puts on our hospitals and the need to get our vaccinations and how critical our bed space is," Hutchinson said.

  • "That is a cautionary note for everyone and should emphasize the need to get our vaccinations done," he added.
  • Hutchinson said that hospitals are working to acquire more beds, and Arkansas Department of Health chief of staff Renee Mallory said that one hospital is working to open more beds Tuesday and "maybe later in the week."

By the numbers: Arkansas has reported a total of 436,242 cases and 6,704 confirmed deaths, per the state's health department.

  • The state ranks fifth in the country for new cases per 100,000 people, AP notes, citing data from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Only around 45% of the state's population is fully vaccinated.
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