ARKANSAS COVID CONCERNS: According to the latest report from the Arkansas State Department of Health, Arkansas has recorded an additional 41 deaths linked to Covid-19, bringing the state’s total to 6,539 since the start of the pandemic, three of these deaths include children. Currently, just over 1,400 Arkansans are hospitalized. This recent increase in Covid cases worries hospital administrators. Marcy Doderer, executive director of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, told Arkansas Public Televisions Talk Business and Politics that having enough intensive care units and the trained medical staff to manage them are the biggest challenges.
“We all really push our teams to their limits sometimes,” said Dorderer. “They tend to be the real heroes of this pandemic.”
Arkansas is among the states with high vaccine reluctance, as approximately 38% of its population is fully vaccinated. And mitigation measures such as mask warrants have been a political issue with lawmakers banning local school boards from requiring masks in school, a ban that has been temporarily suspended in court. Hospital CEO Doderer is worried about the start of the new school year.
“We’re a little worried at Arkansas Children’s (Hospital) about what will happen if our more than 400,000 school children don’t really follow the known and proven rules for getting through a pandemic like Covid.” Marcy Doderer, CEO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital
“We’re a little worried at Arkansas Children’s (Hospital) about what will happen if our 400,000 school children don’t really live by the known and proven rules for getting through a pandemic like Covid.” said Doderer.
Dorderer says handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks in schools as well as eligible people getting vaccinated are the best ways to reduce the community spread of Covid. She also said hospitals in Arkansas were seeing an increase in the number of children with respiratory illnesses much earlier than normal, as well as cases of Covid.