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Since our last update on January 5, active COVID-19 cases in Baxter County have nearly doubled to 357. As of today, there are 20 COVID-19 patients admitted at Baxter Regional, with 6 in ICU and 3 on ventilators. A record high of 80 Baxter Regional employees have active COVID-19, and all of those employees are at home and in isolation, per our COVID-19 policy.
Additional statistics from Baxter Regional:
• 70% of 20 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized are not fully vaccinated.
• 86.4% of 634 COVID-19 patients hospitalized since March 1, 2021, were not fully vaccinated.
• 81.9% of 149 COVID-19 deaths since March 1, 2021, were not fully vaccinated.
Two members of the Arkansas Army National Guard have been dispatched to help with the Baxter Regional COVID-19 testing offered by appointment. We appreciate the support of the Arkansas Army National Guard and encourage anyone needing a COVID-19 test to call our COVID-19 Resource Line at (870) 508-7001.
There is a nationwide shortage of monoclonal antibodies used in the treatment of COVID-19. These monoclonal antibodies are now on a state-coordinated distribution system through the Arkansas Department of Health. The federal government determines total allocation amounts to each state based upon cases and hospitalizations. This has caused a statewide shortage in Arkansas, and we are not offering monoclonal antibody infusion therapy at this time. Currently, there is no information available regarding when or if we will be able to continue to offer the treatment.
While we have requested Sotrovimab, the monoclonal antibody currently approved to help treat symptoms of the Omnicron variant, it is not guaranteed that Baxter Regional will be allocated any by the ADH. If and when that supply is received, we will immediately communicate to all area providers. It will be administered to patients using the allocation criteria approved by the Baxter Regional Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Ethics Committee. That criteria includes priority to patients who are aged 65 or older, not fully vaccinated and immunocompromised.
The Baxter Regional COVID-19 Resource Line continues to be available at (870) 508-7001 as an easy way to access all COVID-19 services using just one phone number. Anyone in the community may call to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test, vaccine, booster or reach the COVID-19 Hotline.
During what seems to be our third surge of COVID-19 locally, we remind everyone that the very best way to reduce the spread is to get a COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible and continue using precautions, remembering the basic 3 W’s: wash your hands, watch your distance and wear your mask.
For more information and regular local updates on COVID-19, visit www.baxterregional.org/coronavirus.