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story.lead_photo.caption Nurses Mandy Stuckey (left) and Tonya Green conduct a coronavirus screening in April at a drive-thru site at New Life Church in North Little Rock. The site, and one at Ouachita Baptist Universityin Arkadelphia, is a partnership between two Arkansas companies. More photos at arkansasonline.com/42testing/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The number of active covid-19 cases in the state set another daily record Saturday even as the new case count and the tally of people hospitalized with the virus went down, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.

The state reported 17,745 active covid-19 cases on Saturday, up 385 from Friday's total. Saturday marked the fifth consecutive day of record numbers of active coronavirus cases in Arkansas.

Another 1,905 cases were added Saturday, raising the cumulative number of Arkansans who have had the coronavirus to 143,821. The state also reported 1,503 recoveries on Saturday, raising the total number of recoveries since the pandemic began to 123,722.

Deaths from the virus rose by 16 on Saturday to 2,337.

The number of covid-19 patients currently hospitalized in the state dropped by 10 to 925. Hospitalizations hit an all-time high Friday at 936, after a week of numbers rising from 830 on Monday to more than 900 by Wednesday. One month ago, Oct. 21, hospitalizations were at 636.

Another two patients were placed on ventilators, raising the total to 154. Since the pandemic hit the state in March, 934 covid-19 patients have required a ventilator.

There were 12,477 new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests reported on Saturday, a day after reaching an all-time daily high of 15,095. Another 2,491 less-precise antigen tests were performed.

The seven-day rolling average for new PCR tests is 10,933, while the average for antigen tests processed is 2,245, according to Health Department data.

The PCR tests take longer to get results, but are more accurate than the faster antigen tests.

Read Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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