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the coronavirus crisis

With COVID-19 hospitalizations up, there are just 8 ICU beds open in Arkansas

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arkansas rose by 103 patients to 1,376 on Monday, the state's largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units also went up by 26 to 509, leaving just eight ICU beds available in the entire state for patients with life-threatening ailments, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. The number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators jumped by 25 to 286.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) tweeted that these "are 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." There was an increase in vaccinations on Monday, with the number of first and second doses administered in the state up by 5,115.

With Arkansas a coronavirus hotspot, Hutchinson said last week that he regrets signing a law banning the state and local governments from imposing mask mandates. Arkansas has recorded 6,322 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.