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State’s new-case count soars 1,984

rkansas’ covid-19 cases increased by 1,984 Sunday — the largest increase reported on that day of the week by the Arkansas Health Department since early January.

Hospitalizations rose too, as well as usage of ICUs and ventilators, and the state’s count of active cases approached 20,000.

Hospitals that responded to calls from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported they were at full or nearly full capacity.

“The patients we are seeing with the Delta variant are much sicker than the patients we saw months ago. More are on ventilators than we had during the first two surges of Covid-19,” University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said via email Sunday evening.

As the state’s only level one trauma center, cancer institute and kidney/liver transplant service, UAMS draws patients from across Arkansas. Leslie said that the growing number of patients with complications from covid-19 is making it difficult for the hospital to find room in the 52-bed ICU for patients with other illnesses.

The vaccine numbers are up from last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted in his near-daily Twitter post about the pandemic.

Another 7,149 doses were administered, according to Sunday’s report, with 1,940 individuals receiving shots to become fully immunized.

“If you have concerns about the vaccine, please speak with those you trust to get the facts. The vaccine is saving lives,” Hutchinson said.

The Legislature meets Tuesday to consider supporting the public health emergency that the governor issued last week. Hutchinson also has said he will call a special session of the Legislature to revise a new state law banning most government agencies and public schools from requiring people to wear masks.

See the full article from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette here.