Arkansas recorded 4,107 new coronavirus cases Tuesday – including 2,275 confirmed by PCR lab testing, the Arkansas Department of Health reported.
Craighead County had 130 of them, and Craighead, Greene and Jackson counties each recorded one death, while 27 died statewide.
The state’s hospitals had 1,323 COVID patients, including 224 who were on ventilators.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said vaccines and individuals taking personal responsibility was the only way to end the pandemic in Arkansas. But most people won’t be able to receive the vaccine if they want it until the spring.
Hutchinson said imposing more restrictions on businesses, such as bars and restaurants, would put many of them out of business. And he said it’s not those businesses that are causing the increases in infections.
“The cases that we’re seeing are coming from home gatherings, they’re coming from social gatherings outside of the work environment,” Hutchinson said during his weekly news conference. “And it’s the result of Thanksgiving, Christmas and then New Year’s.”
Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said the rising patient load is forcing the hospital to convert one-bed rooms into double occupancy in some cases.
“We are stressed, we are strained, but the system is not breaking at the present moment,” Patterson said. “All the hospitals in the state are feeling the impact,” adding that Northeast Arkansas hospitals are feeling the brunt of the impact of the rising numbers elsewhere in the state.
Tuesday’s numbers bear that out. Hospitalizations statewide were up by 27 from Monday, while COVID hospitalizations in NEA were 201, up by 20. Of those 45 were in the intensive care units, an increase of eight, and 24 were on ventilators, up by nine.
“And so we have to take individual responsibility – behind me is the power of you,” Hutchinson said. “And that’s what we ask people to do every day. It’s a very clear message. It is a national message. It is a state message, and that’s where we are right now in this. To me, there are two keys to victory. It is the vaccine and it is vigilance and it is individuals exercising their protective measures for others.”
Northeast Arkansas COVID-19 cases by county through Tuesday:
Jackson – 2,302 confirmed (up 13), 557 probable (up 6); 94 active cases (down 11); 17 confirmed deaths (up 1), 6 probable (unchanged).
Craighead – 9,326 confirmed (up 91 since Monday), 1,154 probable (up 39), 851 active cases (up 39); 130 confirmed deaths (up 1), 13 probable. (unchanged).
Greene – 3,743 confirmed (up 57), 883 probable (up 27); 310 active (unchanged); 44 confirmed deaths,(unchanged), 9 probable (up 1).
Lawrence – 1,366 confirmed (up 9), 285 probable (up 16); 131 active (up 26); 33 confirmed deaths, 3 probable (both unchanged).
Poinsett – 2,235 confirmed (up 25), 261 probable (up 10); 201 active (up 7); 50 confirmed deaths, 13 probable (both unchanged).
Mississippi – 4,102 confirmed (up 51), 441 probable (up 10); 283 active cases (up 29); 82 confirmed deaths, 15 probable (both unchanged).
Randolph – 1,206 confirmed (up 19), 324 probable (up 16); 147 active cases (up 17); 32 confirmed deaths, 11 probable (both unchanged).
Cross – 1,214 confirmed (up 14), 298 probable (up 24); 176 active cases (up 19); 35 confirmed deaths, 2 probable, ( both unchanged).
Clay – 1,055 confirmed (up 4), 314 probable (up 15); 109 active cases (up 9); 23 confirmed deaths, 9 probable (both unchanged).