Public health emergency back in Arkansas with latest COVID-19 spike
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WMC) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reinstituted the state’s public health emergency Thursday.
The Natural State is experiencing increasing hospitalizations as the COVID-19 pandemic spikes again, leading to decreasing hospital capacity.
As of Wednesday, there were more than 1,064 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state with 209 on ventilators. The governor reported nearly 3,000 new cases Thursday with 11 additional deaths.
Hutchinson gave remarks in Little Rock Thursday afternoon, saying the state legislature will review the emergency in 60 days to determine whether it will continue. He said he’s in touch with the White House and asked for federal assistance to evaluate the state’s hospital capacity.
The governor also called for a special session next week to amend Act 1002, giving more power to school districts to make their own decisions on masking requirements.
Hutchinson and state lawmakers are facing growing calls to lift the state’s ban on mask mandates in public schools.
The governor said the Arkansas Children’s Hospital has two cozen patients with COVID-19, including five in the intensive care unit and two on ventilators. Twelve of those children are younger than 12 and not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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