Record number of hospitalizations, lack of ICU beds in state

50 total ICU beds available statewide, officials say as prisons go on lockdown

Record number of hospitalizations, lack of ICU beds in state
The state of Arkansas reported 222,430 total COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up 3,184 from Tuesday as state officials said the number of hospitalizations and lack of ICU beds around the state had reached critical mass. (Source: WIS)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The state of Arkansas reported 222,430 total COVID-19 cases Wednesday, up 3,184 from Tuesday as state officials said the number of hospitalizations and lack of ICU beds around the state had reached critical mass.

According to a tweet from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the high number of new cases and capacity at hospitals are continuing.

“We continue to see high numbers of new cases and capacity pressures on our hospitals. I urge everyone to be careful as we enter another holiday to reduce the virus spread and we need to support each other as Arkansans while we work to distribute the vaccine,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Also, late in the day, the Arkansas Department of Corrections ordered the state’s prisons to be locked down due to increased COVID-19 cases among staff, the AP reported.

ADC has suspended all non-essential unit operations due to the situation, officials said on social media.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Arkansas had 1,174 hospitalizations, up 13 from Tuesday, while the number of people on ventilators was at 205, up 7 from Tuesday.

The state had 50 total ICU beds available as of Wednesday afternoon.

The state also had 34 additional deaths reported Wednesday, leaving the death toll at 3,637.

Of the 34 deaths statewide, five were reported in Region 8. Three deaths happened in Independence County, while two people died in Cross County.

As for new cases, Pulaski County was first in the state with 355 cases, followed by Washington County with 290 cases. Benton County was third with 278 cases, while Faulkner County had 150 cases.

Sebastian County was fifth with 134 cases.

No Region 8 counties were in the Top 5 in new cases.

The state also reported over 425,000 PCR and antigen tests had been done so far this month.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.