NEA Baptist: Positivity rate down, ICU remains packed

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:49 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is down slightly, but hospital officials say it will be weeks before their ICU levels return to normal.

According to NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital’s weekly report released Monday, Sept. 13, its healthcare workers are treating 65 COVID patients. Of those, 88 percent are unvaccinated.

Fifteen people are on ventilators.

The hospital also reported an 18.7 percent positivity rate among the 1,737 tests administered in the past week.

That is a substantial drop from the last week of August when the hospital and its clinics reported a 20.4 percent positivity rate.

“Even though we see the positivity rate trend in the right direction, it may be weeks to months before ICU capacity is back to a normal level,” said Ty Jones, director of marketing.

He said the length of stay for those in the ICU was a contributing factor.

“It takes many days for a patient with severe symptoms to recover to the point where they can safely be transferred to the floor,” Jones said. “While we continue to house a high number of COVID patients, there are still many patients without COVID who need an ICU bed.”

Jones said the hospital has accepted patients from all across the South and Midwest because ICU capacity “remains an issue nationwide.”

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