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Health officials brief lawmakers on COVID-19 in Arkansas

Top state health officials briefed Arkansas lawmakers ahead of a special session Gov. Asa...
Top state health officials briefed Arkansas lawmakers ahead of a special session Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to call later this week.
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 8:28 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KATV) -Top state health officials briefed Arkansas lawmakers ahead of a special session Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to call later this week.

According to a report from content partner KATV, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha told the Joint Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee that 86% of the state’s COVID-19 cases are from the delta variant.

COVID-19 is impacting children in Arkansas more now than one year ago. The state saw a 267% increase between April and June.

“It went from 21 to 77 children who were hospitalized in each of those months. This is much higher than it was last year for July,” Dillaha said.

As of Monday, Aug. 2, Arkansas Children’s Hospital reported 21 hospitalized patients, 19 of those in Little Rock, with the other two in Northwest Arkansas, according to President & CEO Marcy Doderer.

“Eight of those are in the ICU, and five of them are on ventilators. It’s not been our highest peak in recent days. Our peak has been at 24 total patients,” Doderer said.

Despite the increase in patients, Doderer is more concerned with staffing, an issue facing many health care institutions statewide; to operate at full capacity, she said the hospital would need 100 additional nurses.

Gov. Hutchinson will address COVID-19 in his weekly briefing Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

However, the official date of the special session wasn’t announced, but it’s believed it will start Wednesday, Aug. 4.

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