VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — It’s been a month since Governor Asa Hutchinson authorized two alternative care sites to be constructed for additional COVID-19 bed space.


On Tuesday, January 19, KNWA/FOX 24 asked Baptist Health Van Buren, one of the locations, where it’s at in the process:

The renovation of 44 patient rooms at Baptist Health-Van Buren to accommodate COVID-19 patients was completed on schedule. We anticipate the rest of the renovations to be completed by the first of February, bringing the total capacity for COVID-19 patients at Baptist Health-Van Buren to 74. These beds will be leased to the state of Arkansas, and plans are continuing to determine the best way to provide staffing to cover this additional patient capacity.

Stephanie Whitaker, MSN, RN, Baptist Health Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive

Governor Asa Hutchinson also commented on the sites renovation process on Tuesday:

“It is on schedule, probably a little bit ahead of schedule, and we expect those beds to be available as needed,” he said.