Arkansas officials warn of possible COVID-19 surge
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Jose Romero, the state's health secretary, addressed the Omicron variant during a news conference Tuesday.
What's happening: While hospitals are currently comfortable with the amount of space they have, health officials are concerned that the contagious variant will cause a surge in hospitalizations if people don't quickly get vaccinated and get their booster shots, Hutchinson and Romero said.
Driving the news: The Omicron variant now accounts for 73% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
What they're saying: "Omicron has plenty of room among the nonvaccinated and the partially vaccinated to do its work," Hutchinson said.
State of play: About 52% of Arkansans ages 5 or over are fully vaccinated and another 12% are partially vaccinated, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
- Hutchinson said only 14% of Arkansans have had a booster shot.
- 85% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 and 87% of those who have died of the virus were not fully vaccinated, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
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