Gov. Hutchinson warns of ‘difficult’ decisions over coronavirus

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Arkansas saw a record increase in hospitalizations as over 800 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday, Nov. 12 warned the state faced “difficult” decisions if the state’s hospitals run out of space because of a surge in coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Arkansas saw a record increase in hospitalizations as over 800 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The state also hit record a new COVID-19 cases in a single day

The governor repeated his resistance to additional restrictions on businesses, despite the state hitting a record number of hospitalizations and growth in cases. He called adhering to social distancing and the state’s mask mandate the first solution, but said he’s watching hospital capacity closely.

The only thing that will trigger anything is that if we don’t have any hospital space to deal with,” Hutchinson said in a discussion with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the Arkansas Municipal League broadcast live on Facebook. “Then you have to start making some very, very difficult decisions that you don’t want to have to make.”

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Hutchinson didn’t elaborate on the difficult decisions on the table. The Republican governor said he planned to announce a task force to look at ways to address the virus’s growth and hospitalizations over the winter

“In terms of economic pause, it’s not what we want, I don’t expect that to happen, but whenever you’re dealing with this virus, you’ve got to keep options on the table and not foreclose anything,” Hutchinson said.