Surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations; “We are stressed, we are strained, but the system is not breaking.”

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ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – COVID-19 related hospitalizations have broken another record for the second day in a row and hospital capacity is only getting tighter.

President of Mercy Hospital in Northwest Arkansas, Eric Pianalto, said at the beginning of the pandemic hospitals in the region came together to develop a plan in cases full capacity was reached. He said while hospitals still have some room as of right now, full capacity might be just around the corner.

“The margin is pretty thin and we really don’t wanna tip over that,” Pianalto said.

The new record number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations began Monday with an additional 62 people. As of Tuesday… 27 more.

Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor of UAMS said this indicates that the upwards trajectory of the virus continues to impact the healthcare systems in the state.

Dr. Patterson said this surge in hospitalizations comes with consequences, but there is still hope.

“We are stressed, we are strained, but the system is not breaking at the present moment.”

As for hospitals in NWA, plans are in placed to not break that system.

“Our first effort is always to load balance between the hospitals and do our best if there is a bed somewhere else to be able to transition to the other hospitals,” he said. “A further measure and a result in continued growth in numbers would be that we would have to start eliminating elective procedures.”

Pianalto said as cases continue to rise, specifically in northwest Arkansas, it is more important than ever for you to follow CDC guidelines and protect those around you.

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