Carl Collier, pharmacist at Collier Drug in Fayetteville, administers a covid-19 booster shot to Chrystal McPherson of Prairie Grove Thursday Jan. 13, 2022. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. Wampler)
Area covid-19 hospitalizations continue to trickle downward, according to data from the Northwest Arkansas Council.
Northwest Arkansas hospitals Friday were collectively caring for 97 covid-19 patients, who ranged in age from younger than 1 to 90, according to the council.
The high for hospitalizations this week was a combined 125 patients Tuesday.
Area hospitals collectively cared for 133 covid-19 patients last Friday. The all-time high for hospitalizations was 183 patients on Jan. 24.
There were a combined 181 new covid-19 cases in Benton and Washington counties Friday, according to the Northwest Arkansas Council. Benton County reported 98 new cases, and Washington County had 83 new cases. The high for new cases in the two-county area this week was 218 Tuesday, according to data provided by the council.
Until Friday, Washington County had led in the number of new cases Monday through Thursday.
The number of ICU beds in use also dropped from a high of 109 on Monday to 100 on Friday. There were 118 intensive care beds in use on Feb. 11. The all-time high for ICU bed use was 140 on Sept. 8.
There were 39 ventilators in use Friday, dropping all week from a high of 55 on Monday. There were 54 ventilators being used across the area Feb. 11. The all-time high for ventilators was 87 on Sept. 2.
As of Friday, 55.1% of Benton County’s eligible residents — those who are at least 5 years old — were fully immunized against covid-19, and 56.5% of Washington County’s eligible population was fully immunized, according to the council.
There were 17 covid-related deaths in Benton County and 19 in Washington County between Feb. 11 and Friday, according to officials in both counties’ coroner offices. Benton County has had 106 covid-related deaths this year, and Washington County has had 85.
Covid-19 testing at the Washington County Fairgrounds ended Friday. The mass testing site hosted in partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Council and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was originally slated to close on Monday. As capacities continue to increase at hospitals in the region due to lower infection rates, the council asked the centers to reallocate these resources, according to the council.
An updated list of current local testing resources can be found at www.nwacouncil.org/covid-resources/testing.
In the River Valley, there were 29 covid-19 patients at Mercy Fort Smith on Friday, according to spokeswoman Mardi Taylor. There were seven people in ICU.
Baptist Health Fort Smith and Van Buren had a combined 44 covid-19 patients Friday, down from 65 last week. Baptist Health Fort Smith had 42 covid-19 patients Friday, including 12 in covid critical care units and five on ventilators, and Baptist Health Van Buren had two covid-19 patients, said Alicia Agent, hospital marketing manager.