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Alarming increase in COVID-19 cases

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North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) ireported last week that the number of hospitalized patients in the State increased from 187 in May to 1037 in July. Active cases of Covid-19 in Boone County have increased from 81 to 272 in less than 30 days. Hospitalized Covid-19 cases at NARMC are currently 17 with 4 on mechanical ventilation. At this time, 85% of the hospitalized cases at NARMC are unvaccinated. Greater than 90% of the Covid-19 cases in Arkansas are unvaccinated. Hospitals across the region are like NARMC at critical levels of occupancy with no beds available for acutely ill patients. ER wait times at many hospitals are very long due to the high numbers of Covid-19 patients.
“We have reached a moment in time to be alarmed. NARMC and hospitals across the state are reaching capacity due to the rapid increase of critically ill Covid-19 patients. So much so that there may be no room at the Inn for general medical, trauma and other emergency conditions,” said Sammie Cribbs, Chief Operation Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at NARMC. “This situation is critical but yet preventable, the CDC states that vaccination remains the most effective means to achieve control of the pandemic. Vaccination exponentially reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19.”
“The current COVID-19 surge is being fueled by vaccine hesitancy, only 30% of the population of Boone County is vaccinated.” said Cribbs. Arkansas has been especially hard hit by the resurgent virus. The fact is the current surge of Covid-19 is a disease of the unvaccinated.”
For those in the community who are feeling ill and have symptoms of Covid-19 it is imperative that immediate testing is performed. The NARMC testing facility is open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. If positive for COVID-19 there are outpatient treatments and medications available and if administered early in the course of the disease have been proven to prevent hospitalization and progression to critical illness. If you or someone you know has been tested positive and is in need of immediate access to this treatment call your physician or call NARMC at 870-414-4010 to reach the COVID-19 call center.
“Healthcare resources are stretched to capacity. Medical professionals are placing themselves at risk daily caring for patients that if vaccinated would very likely not be ill or in the hospital. Our teams are exhausted and we are only in the early stages of this surge. Please get vaccinated.” said Vince Leist CEO NARMC.
General protection measures for all, wear a mask, avoid large crowds and wash your hands regularly.
If you have questions about the virus, if you are experiencing symptoms such as running a fever, if you have a cough or shortness of breath, or if you have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient, please call 870-414-4010 to reach the NARMC COVID-19 Call Center. If you want to schedule an appointment for one the Community Vaccine Clinics, call 870-414-2021 Monday- Friday 8a-4p and a representative will be happy to assist. You can also visit www.narmc.com/covid for additional resources.

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