850 active cases in Garland County; governor gives weekly update

(8/10/21)  850 active cases in Garland County; Governor gives weekly COVID update

COVID_19_Update_2021_08_10The following statistics and information for Tuesday, Aug. 10, were shared at a press conference with the governor and/or were posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:

  • 12,936 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 73 from Monday.
  • 850 active cases in Garland County, down eight from Monday.
  • 11,804 recoveries in Garland County, up 81 from Monday.
  • 280 deaths in Garland County, no change from Monday.

The number of new cases reported today for the state totaled 2,620, which again is up from last Tuesday. This increased the number of active cases by 562 to 23.377. There were 24 new deaths reported today.

Hospitalizations continue to rise above record levels with 103 added yesterday and 59 added today. Regarding the hospitalization increases, Hutchinson said it “certainly emphasizes the stress on our hospitals.” 

It was reported on Monday that the state was down to only eight available ICU beds, and the governor said that number had only slightly increased. He said Children’s Hospital is also down to “a slim margin” of available beds for their pediatric patients. The state has worked with the Arkansas Hospital Association to free up additional space with beds, which the governor said means that the monitoring of the acceptance of other healthcare needs has been heightened to make sure ICU beds are available. American Rescue Funds will also be used for staff expansions to open up additional ICU beds for COVID patients at specific hospitals. 

Hutchinson said the team from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was in the state and evaluated hospital situation. He said the state is working with the team, and the state is trying to implement suggestions provided in their report. 

“We have to work to reduce the cases and the exposure, but also to plan ahead because it looks like we are going to have pressure on the hospitals for some time,” said Hutchinson.

The governor said it was another strong day with vaccinations with more than 11,000 vaccine doses given out yesterday in the state. There are now 1.1 million Arkansans who are fully vaccinated. 

Sharing updated data to illustrate the effectiveness of the vaccines, since Feb. 1, 91.86% of the COVID-related deaths were among individuals who were not fully vaccinated; 93.12% of hospitalizations were among those not fully vaccinated; and 91.86% of the cases were among unvaccinated. 

The percentage of active COVID cases among those 18 and under has increased from 12% on Aug. 13, 2020, to 14% on Jan. 11, 2021, to 19% on Aug. 10, 2021. 

Hutchinson shared that only 4.3% of the state’s 627,000 traditional Medicaid clients, ages 12 and up, have been vaccinated. As an incentive to physicians, the COVID-19 vaccine administration reimbursement rate is being increased from $40 to $100. Hutchinson asked physicians who serve these traditional Medicaid clients to reach out to these patients, engage with them on the vaccines. 

Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said that the 12-18 age group has a vaccination rate of 36% with a single dose and 20% are fully vaccinated. He said that this age group and those younger than 12 are at risk as the state is seeing significant increases in the number of youth being hospitalized. He said it is very important that the children 12 and under, who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccinations, wear masks when in public and when they go to school. 

With the start of school beginning next week, the governor announced that the state is working to acquire a supply of high-efficiency filtration masks to make available for school districts to provide to their students.