TAKING QUESTIONS: Health Department and hospital officials take questions from the legislature.

Health officials are taking questions from Arkansas legislators this afternoon and the baseline is the same: Staffs are stretched, the need for more vaccinations is the best way out of our predicament; most of the seriously ill are unvaccinated, including 16 of 21 Arkansas Children’s Hospital patients who are old enough to be eligible.

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Austin Bailey will have reporting on today’s legislative session later.

And what is the predicament? Today’s numbers (always low on Monday):

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New cases: 844

Active cases: 18,922, down from 19,738 yesterday.

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Deaths: Up 42. I’m checking to see what the time span is on these reports. UPDATE: None was a delayed report. All occurred within the last month.

Hospitalizations: 1,221, up 81 from Sunday (a one-day record).   The number in ICU statewide was put at 451, exceeding the previous high of 440 and 251 are on ventilators. Baptist Hospitals in Central Arkansas have seen an increase in COVID cases from 49 on June 6 to 212 and similar increases in critical care patients.

Vaccinations: Only 3,600 more shots since yesterday.

A Baptist spokesman said he is “very concerned.”

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