Arkansas reports biggest one-day spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations
Arkansas on Monday reported 1,220 COVID-19 related hospitalizations, its highest-ever one day jump since the pandemic began.
The record comes as the state is also swiftly approaching its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the state’s Department of Health. The state’s highest number of hospitalizations was recorded in January at 1,371.
“Today’s increase in hospitalizations is the highest increase we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic. We continue to see nearly all hospitalizations among the unvaccinated,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) tweeted on Monday. “Do your part to help. Hospitals are full & the only remedy is for more Arkansans to be vaccinated.”
Today’s increase in hospitalizations is the highest increase we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic. We continue to see nearly all hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. Do your part to help. Hospitals are full & the only remedy is for more Arkansans to be vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/txsmobyfT8
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 2, 2021
On Monday, the state reported 42 deaths and 844 new cases with 6,199 people having died due to COVID-19 in total in Arkansas.
Last week, Hutchinson asked the state legislature to roll back its ban on allowing local governments from enacting mask mandates, asking that public schools be allowed to make that decision themselves.
“This is not a debate about mask mandates for those that can make their own decisions and have the means to get vaccinated,” Hutchinson said. “This is a discussion about the school environment where schools can make decisions about the public health for their school environment and the children they have responsibility to protect.”
The action will be difficult to accomplish as a majority in both legislative houses would be needed for the ban to be lifted before school resumes in the fall.
Hutchinson has acknowledged Arkansas’ low vaccination rate, attributing it to the state being “very rural” and “conservative.”
“Sometimes conservatives are hesitant about the government, and we’ve just got to counteract that by getting better information to them, building confidence,” he said earlier in July.