Health care professionals fear new Arkansas COVID-19 models

KNWA

"Once we run out of hospital beds, what do we do?"

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — New models show Arkansas will see thousands of new coronavirus cases daily by the end of September if things stay the same.

20,000 a day? That’s very frightening for Arkansas and the economy too.

JANET BILYEU, NURSE PRATITIONER

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the Natural State for months, and a new model shows an end isn’t in sight.

Scientists with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) predict Arkansas will see 20,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by the end of September.

Somebody will lose a loved one and if we can prevent that wouldn’t that be awesome?

JANET BILYEU, NURSE PRATITIONER

UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said the fate of these numbers will become a reality if nothing changes.

“Simply wearing a mask will dramatically bend the curve,” Dr. Patterson said.

Between mask wearing and social distancing, he said these new infections cases drop to about 6,000 a day.

“It’s a simple thing with dramatic effects,” he said.

Local Nurse Practitioner Janet Bilyeu said these predictions are alarming.

“We should take every opportunity we have because we need our economy to prosper, we need our kids to go back to school, we need businesses to stay open,” she said.

Especially for the health care system.

Once we run out of hospital beds… what do we do?

JANET BILYEU, NURSE PRATITIONER

“We don’t want to make those decisions,” she said.

It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you and your family, but with those numbers — Bilyeu said it’s a lot more likely.

“We don’t want to be the one that happens to, nor do we want to be the cause of someone having it,” she said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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