Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Arkansas hospitals stretched thin as hospitalizations surge


LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Sunday the Arkansas Department of Health reported 919 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, 44 up from the day before. 

“Every week when I look at those numbers, I’m like it’s here,” UAMS Emergency Department Physician Sofie Morgan M.D. said. “It’s like I saw the train coming.”

Sunday UAMS Challenor Dr. Cam Patterson tweeted there were 60 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at UAMS. Of those, he said 26 are in the ICU and 16 are on ventilators. 

Morgan said the additional numbers are putting a strain on hospital staff, and that the hesitation over the vaccine is landing more people in the hospital.

“Everybody is exhausted,” Morgan said, “A lot of times you feel like, gosh, could this had been preventable?”

According to UAMS, this next surge it is seeing is impacting more young people, and is encouraging everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine. 

“Our staff is stretched thin, add to that that the patients are sicker. more end up in the ICU,” UAMS CEO Dr. Steppe Mette said. 

If numbers continue the way they have been going, the hospital is expecting an even worse surge and strain on its employees in the next couple of months. 

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