Arkansas Sees Highest-Ever Number of COVID Hospitalizations

An alarming coronavirus surge amongst unvaccinated Americans pushed Arkansas into unprecedented territory on Monday as it breached a new record for people in the state hospitalized for COVID-19.

One of the lowest-ranking states for vaccination against COVID-19, Arkansas reported that its hospitalizations rose by 103, the highest one-day increase, to 1376. Its previous record during the pandemic was in January when it hit 1,371 virus hospitalizations.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas has hit its highest one-day increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Above, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta, File/AP Photo

Arkansas ranks third in the country for new virus cases per capita, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers. The state's cases have been skyrocketing in recent weeks, fueled by the delta variant of the virus and state's low vaccination rate.

The spike in hospitalizations came days after an Arkansas judge temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental bodies from enforcing mask mandates.

The majority-Republican Legislature last week refused to change the law despite GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson calling on them to roll it back for some schools. Hutchinson signed the law in April but has said he regrets that decision.