Southwest Arkansas seeing surge of COVID-19 patients

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 2:37 PM CDT
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MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KSLA) - The ArkLaTex appears to be lagging behind when it comes to those being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, a report from a major university says our area is leading the way in a surge of COVID patients, especially in southwest Arkansas.

Stephanie Schmittou is chief nursing officer at Magnolia Regional Medical Center. Stephanie said before noon on July 9, five new positive COVID patients were admitted to the hospital emergency room.

A new study from Georgetown University has listed southwest Arkansas as one of 30 clusters in the United States that could become a potential hot spot for COVID-19 variants. According to the report, low vaccination rates are to blame.

At Magnolia Regional, they are hoping to see the vaccination rate pick up.

“Here in southwest Arkansas we have started to see a huge trend in the COVID peaks coming back,” said Schmittou.

Hospital employee Dakota Brown received his second dose of the vaccine and said he does not want to be a statistic.

“It’s very important to me. We work in the hospital, we got patients coming in the hospital. We’ve got patients coming in all the time,” said Brown.

Hospital officials say they hope to see vaccinations increase to help remove the area from a potential COVID hotspot.

“We are receiving a huge spike right now and I feel in the next few weeks we are going to see more,” said Schmittou.

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