The number of hospitalized Arkansas covid-19 patients - as well as those in intensive care units and on ventilators - reached new record highs on Monday, even as the number of new virus cases went down, according to Health Department data.
There were 1,112 new covid-19 cases reported Monday, a drop of 109 cases from the day before. The number of active cases continued to drop, from 16,884 on Sunday to 16,140 on Monday.
The state's count of coronavirus patients admitted to the ICU increased by 17 to an all-time high of 407, according to the Health Department covid-19 dashboard. There remains 70 beds available out of the state's 1,139 ICU beds.
There are currently 211 patients with coronavirus on ventilators, an increase of 26 from Sunday.
There are currently 1,063 covid-19 patients hospitalized in the state - a jump of 33 from Sunday.
“Today's increase in hospitalizations will continue to strain our health care system," said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. "Our frontline workers need our help as we head into the winter months of this pandemic."
Hutchinson said that he received briefings Monday on the nation's vaccine distribution plans as well as the health care system needs from Federal Drug Administration Director Dr. Stephen Hahn; Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
"Based upon national trends and expert concerns on the holiday season, it does seem that we are in the lull before the storm," Hutchinson said. "I expect the antigen testing to pick up again later in the week and that is where many of the positive cases are identified. I applaud our health department team and all the health care workers who have been so diligent during this entire pandemic."