President Joe Biden has offered federal support to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson as Covid-19 cases in the state surge.
The Biden Administration offered “surge response” resources, including increased testing, treatment and vaccination support, as cases of the Delta have skyrocketed in recent weeks.
Gov Hutchinson revealed that the state of 3 million people has only eight intensive care unit beds free on Monday, with 1,376 people in hospital and 286 on ventilators, significant increases on the previous day.
The state also recorded 21 deaths.
“Today’s report shows some very startling numbers. We saw the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations and have eclipsed our previous high of COVID hospitalizations,” Gov Hutchinson wrote on Twitter.
“Vaccinations reduce hospitalizations.”
Today’s report shows some very startling numbers. We saw the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations and have eclipsed our previous high of COVID hospitalizations. There are currently only eight ICU beds available in the state. Vaccinations reduce hospitalizations. pic.twitter.com/zoEvn4XCXo— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) August 9, 2021
On Monday, Arkansas recorded 995 new cases, slightly down on previous day’s, bringing the state’s seven-day average to 2,285.
In a release on Tuesday, the White House said federal surge response teams were working “hand in hand” with state officials to bring the outbreak under control.
“The President commended Governor Hutchinson on his efforts to get more Arkansans vaccinated, including through his Community Covid Conversations, and noted the increasing rate of vaccinations in Arkansas.
“Governor Hutchinson thanked the President for his support and the two leaders committed to continue to work together to protect the health and well-being of all Arkansans.”
Less than 38 per cent of the Arkansans are fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, compared with 50 per cent of the total US population.
Last week, an Arkansas judge ordered a pause to the state’s enforcement of a ban on mask mandates, allowing schools and public buildings to require face coverings to mitigate the risk of surging Covid-19 infections.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox issued a preliminary injunction on Friday against the law that Gov Asa Hutchinson signed in April banning mask requirements by governmental entities.
It came after Gov Hutchinson said he regretted signing the ban and had been trying to modify it as Covid cases and hospitalisations surged in the state, adding changes were needed to protect children under 12 who couldn’t get vaccinated.
Cases of the Delta variant have spread largely unchecked through states with low vaccination rates.
In Florida, where more than 56,000 new cases were recorded on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to withhold the pay of school officials who impose mask mandates.
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