A CLOSER LOOK: Arkansas and ICU beds per county

Coronavirus

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Cases of the novel coronavirus could increase nearly 10 times in the next two weeks, Governor Asa Hutchinson said Friday, March 27, during his afternoon briefing.

The governor said he and his staff have looked at models for the spread of COVID-19 and indicators show an estimated 3,500 cases could be in Arkansas in about 14 days. Currently, there are 381 reported cases.

Breakdown of the 381 cases: 15 are children, 124 are 64+, 242 are adults ages 19 to 64.

Gov. Hutchinson said he wanted to be prepared for “the worst-case scenario.” Should this 3,500 number happen officials believe that 750 people would be hospitalized.

The plan would be to add hospital beds and having the National Guard help the Arkansas Department of Health and Army Corps of Engineers to make this happen. Also, the state has placed an order for 500 ventilators.

How many of the 750 would require intensive care versus regular hospitalization is unknown.

Here is what we do know: There are 732 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the entire state of Arkansas. Of 75 counties, only 29 counties have ICU beds, according to a Kaiser report. However, the types of ICU beds vary: adult; NICU/pediatrics; neuro-cardiac; burn.

HERE ARE THE COUNTIES WITH ICU BEDS

  • Ashley County, 6 beds (pop. 21,853; 25% over 60 years)
  • Baxter County, 17 beds (pop. 41,153; 39% over 60 years old)
  • Benton County, 30 beds (pop. 221,339; 18% over 60 years old)
  • Boone County, 24 beds (pop. 36,903; 26% over 60 years old)
  • Columbia County, 6 beds (pop. 24,552; 23% over 60 years old)
  • Craighead County, 66 beds (pop. 96,4443; 19% over 60 years)
  • Crawford County, 8 beds (pop. 61,948; 22% over 60 years old)
  • Drew County, 5 beds (pop. 18,509; 21% over 60 years old)
  • Faulkner County, 25 beds (pop. 113,237; 16% over 60 years)
  • Garland County, 41 beds (pop. 96,024; 29% over 60 years old)
  • Greene County, 8 beds (pop. 42,090; 20% over 60 years old)
  • Hempstead County, 8 beds (pop. 22,609; 24% over 60 years)
  • Hot Spring County, 6 beds (pop. 32,923; 25% over 60 years)
  • Independence County, 12 beds (pop. 36,647; 24% over 60 yrs.)
  • Jefferson County, 34 beds (pop. 77,435; 22% over 60 years old)
  • Johnson County, 8 beds (pop. 25,540; 22% over 60 years old)
  • Mississippi County, 5 beds (pop. 46,480; 20% over 60 years old)
  • Ouachita County, 8 beds (pop. 26,120; 25% over 60 years old)
  • Phillips County, 6 beds (pop. 21,757; 24% are over 60 years)
  • Polk County, 6 beds (pop. 20,662; 29% are over 60 years old)
  • Pope County, 11 beds (pop. 61,754; 20% over 60 years old)
  • Pulaski County, 209 beds (pop. 382,748; 20% over 60 years)
  • Randolph County, 2 beds (pop. 17,969; 28% over 60 years old)
  • St. Francis County, 6 beds (pop. 28, 258; 20% over 60 years old)
  • Saline County, 16 beds (pop. 107,118; 23% over 60 years old)
  • Sebastian County, 69 beds (pop. 125,744; 21% over 60 years)
  • Union County, 16 beds (pop. 41,639; 24% over 60 years old)
  • Washington County, 61 beds (pop. 203,065; 16% over 60 years)
  • White County, 13 beds (pop. 77,076; 21% over 60 years old)

Arkansas’ county with one of the highest percentage of elderly is Cleburne County (33%) and a population of nearly 26,000. This county has the second highest reports of COVID-19, at 46, and two reported deaths. Cleburne, which has no ICU beds, usually transports their residents to the city of Conway in Faulkner County, according to officials there.

The Kaiser Health News March 20 headline: Millions of older Americans live in counties with no ICU beds as pandemic intensifies.

It reads in part: “More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, posing a particular danger for more than 7 million people who are age 60 and up ― older patients who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows.”

Read the entire report here.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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

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