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Current COVID-19 Update: August 20

Current COVID-19 Update: August 20

As of today, Friday, August 20, there are 30 COVID-19 patients currently admitted at Baxter Regional, with 9 in ICU and 7 on a ventilator. There are also 25 Baxter Regional employees out with COVID-19, at home and in isolation. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, active COVID-19 cases have continued to lower this week, with 337 in Baxter County, and vaccination numbers have increased, with 37.5% of the population of Baxter County being fully vaccinated.

Additional statistics from Baxter Regional:
• 93.3% of 30 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized are not vaccinated.
• 88.9% of 325COVID-19 patients hospitalized since March 1, 2021, were not vaccinated.
• 80.9% of 63 COVID-19 deaths since March 1, 2021, were not vaccinated.

On August 12, 2021, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for administration of a 3rd (additional) dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after an initial 2-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series for certain immunocompromised people (i.e., people who have undergone solid organ transplantation or have been diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise).

Those wishing to receive an additional dose must meet the following criteria:

1. It has been at least 28 days since you completed the 2nd dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
2. You are moderately or severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or immunosuppressive medications or treatments, including:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies.
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy.
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy).
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

3. Meet all other eligibility requirements per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

People with questions about whether they qualify for a third dose should reach out to their primary care physician. Booster doses for all individuals 12 years of age and older are anticipated to begin on or around September 20, 2021. More information will be released about booster doses once FDA authorization is received, and we are developing a plan to meet the need of supplying these boosters.

Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are eligible, please consider a COVID-19 vaccine. Local vaccine administration sites continue to offer initial vaccines and are now offering boosters for immunocompromised people that qualify. A list of all local vaccine locations is available on our website at

Although our situation has improved, our ICU is full and our COVID-19 Unit continues to be at a high patient census. We encourage people of all ages to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and continue using precautions, remembering the basic 3 Ws: wash your hands, watch your distance and wear your mask. It's important to remember that those with COVID-19 may be contagious two days before symptoms are present, so please use these precautions at all times!

Remember the Baxter Regional COVID-19 Resource Line at (870) 508-7001 is an easy way to access all our COVID-19 services using just one phone number. Anyone in the community may call to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test, vaccine or monoclonal antibodies infusion with provider's order, donate items for our staff, make a monetary donation to Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation or reach the COVID-19 Hotline.

For more information and regular local updates on COVID-19, visit