More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than died from the Spanish Flu pandemic that gripped the world from 1918-1920, and the second largest hospital in Northeast Arkansas reports that the disease continues to rage in the region. At least four people have died from COVID at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital during the last week, Marketing Director Ty Jones said.
About 16 patients are currently on a ventilator, and the hospital’s ICU unit remains at capacity, he said. Around 88% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, he added. Nearly one out of every five people tested are positive.
“We have seen the total positivity rate tick up slightly over last week to 19.5% with a total of 1,426 tests. We continue to hold steady with inpatient COVID volume as we have ranged from 55-65 positive patients in our hospital and held an average of 59 patients over the seven-day period,” he said.
The numbers from NEA Baptist are not surprising when coupled with numbers released by the Arkansas Department of Health. Arkansas has at least 396 new cases and 49 of them are from Craighead County, the most new cases reported in any county in the state.
The state had 15,004 active cases as of Sept. 20 with 37 deaths occurring during the last day. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, an estimated 7,482 Arkansans have died from the disease, making it the single highest death event in the state’s recorded history.
Craighead County has 808 active cases with 19,136 recoveries. At least 225 people in the county have died from COVID.
Crittenden County has 330 active cases with 115 deaths reported. Greene County has 463 active cases with 103 reported deaths.
One county in the Ozark Foothills, Independence, is experiencing a surge in cases. The county, with a population of about 38,000, has 224 active cases. The death toll in the county has reached 151. It has the highest death rate per capita among counties in the region.