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Half of ICU beds in Arkansas are COVID-19 patients as hospitalizations rise

According to the ADH, 50% of intensive care unit beds are filled with patients battling COVID-19 with 48% of ICU patients battling other illnesses.
Credit: Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool
In this Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, photo, a staff member treats a patient at the Critical Care Unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Ore. The hospitalization rate of unvaccinated COVID-19 is breaking records and squeezing hospital capacity, with several running out of room to take more patients.(Mike Zacchino/KDRV via AP, Pool)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After more than a month of Arkansas hospitals battling to keep ICU beds open as COVID-19 surges, data from the department of health shows there are more patients in the ICU for the virus than not.

The report released Monday included an increase of 986 new positive cases since Sunday and 30 more deaths due to COVID-19 in Arkansas.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 50% of intensive care unit beds are filled with patients battling COVID-19. With only 2% of ICU beds open, that leaves the remaining 48% with patients battling other illnesses.

With the delta variant being the driving force behind the surge, Pfizer was given full FDA approval Monday, opening the door for a rise in public confidence to get the vaccine.

More information released by the ADH includes 23,576 active virus cases, 1,411 patients in the hospital with COVID-19 with 349 of those patients on the ventilator.

"Today’s increase in hospitalizations, deaths, and ventilator use is a daunting reminder of the seriousness of the Delta Variant. Now that the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved, we should see vaccine acceptance increase," Governor Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet Monday.