Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported a record number of hospitalizations in a single day at his press conference today (July 7). Officials reported 369 hospitalizations, up 32 from yesterday.
“I asked Dr. Smith, of course, why is that so high and the answer is that [hospitalizations] is a lagging indicator,” he said. “If you remember the spike in cases we had a week ago, now we are seeing some of the results of that through our increased hospitalizations.”
Hutchinson reported the highest number of new cases in a single day on Thursday, July 2 with 878.
Even with the increase in the number of hospitalizations today, Hutchinson said that capacity is still available at hospitals.
“There is the capacity to handle what we have and we look at that everyday,” he said.
There were 285 hospitalizations in the state of Arkansas on Friday, July 3. Since then, there have been nearly 100 more hospitalizations. There were 40 new hospitalizations reported over the weekend, 12 yesterday and 32 today so the number has increased by 94 within the past three days.
Although the health care system is currently not stressed in terms of capacity, Hutchinson acknowledged the stress and challenges health care professionals are facing.
“I don’t want to diminish the stress that is on the hospital workers. That is where the challenge is,” said Hutchinson. “That’s a lot of patients that they are having to work with, the stress involved with this [and] they are [making] life-saving decisions.”
When asked about where the majority of new hospitalizations came from, Smith said that the increase in hospitalizations have been throughout the state, but the largest single increase occurred at a hospital in Pulaski County.