State officials on edge over possible COVID surge
Rising COVID-19 statistics are worrisome to state officials, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state health secretary Jose Romero said Tuesday.
Why it matters: Romero expressed concern over hospitalizations and the availability of beds, noting flu season is expected to be bad this year. He says it's too soon to tell whether Arkansas will experience a surge as serious as the one brought on by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates earlier this year.
The state reported 1,044 new cases in a 24-hour period, the highest it's seen in that time frame since September.
- Hutchinson pointed out that could be partly because of some delayed testing over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Yes, but: Hospitalizations were up 18% this week with 409 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus Tuesday, compared to 345 a week earlier, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
What they're saying: "If this continues, we are definitely in another surge," Romero added.
Of note: About 30% of new cases are in children ages 5–11. Romero urged parents to get their kids vaccinated and warned that COVID-19 can cause long-term effects in children.
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