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story.lead_photo.caption A nurse conducts a coronavirus test in August at the UAMS drive-thru screening site in Little Rock. More photos at arkansasonline.com/819test/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford) ( Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Stephen Swofford)

Arkansas reported 2,348 new covid-19 cases on Thursday, a single-day record that exceeded the previous record of 2,312 new cases reported on Nov. 13.

The state's count of patients hospitalized with covid-19 declined for the first time in several days, falling by 25 from Wednesday's record-setting 1,028 for a total of 1,003, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The number of patients on a ventilator fell by 22, to 169.

Deaths rose by 11, bringing the state's death toll to 2,436 during the months since the first reported case of the virus appeared in Arkansas in March.

"Cases are high but a small reduction in hospitalizations is an improvement," Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote on Twitter on Thursday, and noted the high level of testing reported the day before.

Results from 13,675 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and 3,455 antigen tests were reported on Wednesday, according to the Department of Health.

The cumulative number of infections in the state stood at 152,625 in light of the new cases reported Thursday.

The tally of active cases rose by 574, to 17,588.

According to Department of Health spokeswoman Meg Mirivel, 68 adult intensive care unit beds were available as of Thursday. That figure represented a decrease from the day before, when the Department of Health reported 75 available beds.

Mirivel said just over 34% of the occupied adult ICU beds were occupied by covid-19 patients.

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

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