COVID-19 cases set new daily record; ICU bed availability continues to decline

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 465 views 

News on Arkansas’ COVID-19 front is not getting better. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported Thursday (Dec. 17) new confirmed and probable cases totaled 3,039, a new record and the first day above the 3,000 mark. ICU bed availability reached a new low.

The ADH report showed that cumulative known confirmed and probable cases totaled 194,543, up a record 3,039 cases. Active cases rose by 885 to 21,659, and confirmed and probable deaths rose by 38 to 3,112. More than half of the new confirmed community cases were from just five counties. Washington County set a record with 326 new cases reported in one day.

The ADH also reported that available ICU beds fell to 46, the lowest point since the pandemic began. Available ICU beds totaled 64 on Wednesday, and 73 on Tuesday.

“The 3,039 new cases today is a milestone we did not want to reach. With over 17,000 COVID-19 test results over the past 24 hours, we see our testing continues to increase and identify cases. If we isolate and quarantine as needed, then the identifying of cases will help control the spread. We continue to work on vaccine distribution, but we have to focus on distancing and wearing our mask to slow this virus down,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

COVID REPORT – Dec. 17
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 165,512 known cumulative PCR cases, with 2,163 new community cases and 119 reported cases in correctional facilities
• 29,031 probable cases, up from 28,274 on Wednesday
• There are 16,446 active cases, up from 15,862 on Wednesday
• There were 14,056 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 3,275 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours.

Deaths
• 2,755, up 30
• 357 probable COVID-related deaths, up 8

Hospitalizations
1,084, up 5

Ventilators
188, up 4

Recovered cases
146,287

The top five counties with new known cases reported Thursday were: Washington (326), Pulaski (288), Benton (226), Craighead (153), and Saline (113). The counties accounted for 51.1% of the 2,163 new community cases.

As of Thursday at 1 p.m., there were 17,068,357 U.S. cases and 308,908 deaths. Globally, there were 74,632,358 cases and 1,656,403 deaths.

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