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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Northeast Arkansas medical institutions urge the public to follow COVID guidelines

JONESBORO, Ark- Eleven medical institutions including NYIT, NEA Baptist, and St. Bernards issued a statement urging the public to continue to take COVID precautions.

With Halloween just days away and hospitalizations rising in Northeast Arkansas.

“The last three weeks we’ve definitely seen an increase,” says St. Bernards Vice President of Nursing Angie Smith. “We also have also seen that increase within our hospitalizations in both our med-surge COVID bed as well as our ICU beds. We really look at it daily to determine what beds do we need to cover, what staff do we need, what equipment do we need. We’ll continue to work together to take care of folks.”

Smith says they’ve started to see an increase this summer.

She says it’s alarming, but they have prepared with a surge plan and have bed space.

As their biggest issue is staffing, as a number are in quarantine.

this comes as northeast arkansas has the highest number of COVID patients admitted to the hospital in the state.

While NEA Baptist still has beds available as well, it is a struggle.

“It’s a daily thing to try and find a bed for somebody that’s sick and needs a bed,” says NEA Baptist Physician Dr. Shane Lyerly. “So, it’s definitely an uptick in positive cases, and we’re seeing the severity along with that.”

With Halloween just three days away, smith says it’s important to continue following guidelines to help stop the spread.

“That they wash their hands, wear their mask, avoid large gatherings, choose alternatives to those celebrations. Just that we stay safe and continue to social distance, I think that’s the most important message.”

All eleven medical facilities are also encouraging the public to get their flu shot as soon as possible.

To help keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed this winter.


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