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Count of Arkansas covid patients on ventilators hits record high

by Jeannie Roberts | August 30, 2021 at 6:16 p.m.
A ventilator is shown next to a hospital's intensive care bed set up for covid-19 patients in this Aug. 17, 2021, file photo. (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)

The number of Arkansas covid-19 patients placed on ventilators rose Monday to a record 361, while the number of available ventilators in the state's inventory fell to its lowest point of the pandemic, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.

The number of covid-19 patients on ventilators rose by 17, to 361. The previous record of 354 was set Wednesday.

Arkansas' daily covid-19 hospitalizations remained unchanged at 1,257 on Monday, but the number of patients admitted to intensive care units rose, according to Health Department data. State officials reported 533 covid-19 patients in the ICU, up 20 from Sunday but still below the record high of 558 set one week earlier.

The number of available ICU beds remained at 21.

The state reported 882 new cases of the coronavirus. Hundreds more Arkansans recovered from the virus than were diagnosed with it, however, lowering active cases of covid-19 below 23,000 for the first time in three weeks. The state reported 22,427 active cases on Monday, down 1,688 from Sunday.

"Active cases and hospitalizations have declined from last week, but our ventilator usage has reached a new high today," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Twitter. "We have the capacity for the current number of COVID patients, and our hospitals continue to work to bring more ICU beds online."

There were 21 fewer ventilators available on Monday, when the number dipped to 461 from Sunday's 482.

The 882 new coronavirus cases reported Monday raises the cumulative total since March 2020 to 450,265. Of those, 420,812 cases are considered recovered.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by 33, to 6,912.

More details in Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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