COVID-19 hospitalizations again set daily record, ‘strain’ noted on healthcare system

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 410 views 

COVID-19 hospitalizations jumped a record 62 to set a new daily record of 1,155, according to Monday’s (Dec. 28) report from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The ADH also reported 56 statewide available ICU beds, down from 62 on Sunday.

Total confirmed and probable deaths rose by 55 to 3,537. Monday’s report also showed that COVID patients on ventilators rose by 15 to 201. The ADH reports there are 640 ventilator machines available statewide.

Total known confirmed and probable cases rose by 1,651 to 216,528, and active confirmed and probable cases fell by 623 to 20,831.

“It will take a few days to know whether the increase in hospitalizations is the result of buildup after the long Christmas weekend. Regardless, the high number of cases continues to strain our health care system. Regretfully, we also have an additional 55 deaths in Arkansas from COVID-19. The importance of following guidance from the Department of Health cannot be overstated,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement with the ADH report.

A note from the Northwest Arkansas Health Care Community, a collaboration of medical systems in that region, reported Monday that hospitals in the area are down from a record of 119 COVID patients in the previous week. However, they report a “high utilization of our Intensive Care Units.”

“As the vaccine begins to be administered more broadly, it will take time for it to have an overall positive impact on our communities and healthcare systems,” noted the NWA statement. “Until that positive impact occurs, we will continue to ask and share the same message about following the guidelines to slow the spread of the virus and end this pandemic. Please do it for yourself, your loved ones, our healthcare workers and our communities.”

COVID REPORT – Dec. 28
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 181,178 known cumulative PCR cases, with 867 new community cases and 22 reported cases in correctional facilities
• 35,350 probable cases, up from 34,588 on Sunday
• There are 15,363 active cases, down from 16,083 on Sunday
• There were 4,382 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 2,272 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours.

Deaths
• 3,005, up 29
• 532 probable COVID-related deaths, up 26

Hospitalizations
1,155, up 62

Ventilators
201, up 15

Recovered cases
162,787

The top five counties with new known cases reported Monday were: Pulaski (266), Benton (139), Washington (131), Faulkner (110), and Saline (91). The counties accounted for 44.6% of the 1,651 new confirmed and probable cases.

As of Monday at 1 p.m., there were 19,191,583 U.S. cases and 333,836 deaths. Globally, there were 81,072,988 cases and 1,769,930 deaths.

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