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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson arrives Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020 in Little Rock for his weekly covid-19 briefing at the state Capitol. See more photos at (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal) ( Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Staton Breidenthal)

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 644 new covid-19 cases on Sunday, a decrease compared to recent days. However, the number of active cases in the state reached a record high for the fifth consecutive day.

Twenty additional deaths raised the state's death toll to 1,704. All but one of the deaths occurred among confirmed cases, according to the Health Department.

On Twitter, Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote, "While we have seen decreases [in the rate of new-case growth] the last few days, it will likely trend back up next week. Next week’s cases will depend upon our activity over the weekend. I am grateful for everyone being diligent & safe."

Of the new cases reported on Sunday, 529 were confirmed cases from polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, and 115 were classified as probable cases from less-sensitive antigen tests.

The cumulative number of infections in the state since the start of the pandemic increased to 99,066 on Sunday.

The number of confirmed and probable active cases, which topped 8,000 for the first time on Wednesday and has risen to new records each day since, increased again on Sunday. The Health Department's count of active cases rose by 94 for a total of 8,904.

Hospitalizations declined by four, to 572, while the number of patients on a ventilator rose by three, to 97.

Twenty-nine of the confirmed cases reported on Sunday were from correctional facilities, according to the Health Department.

Results from nearly 9,000 PCR tests were reported on Saturday, for a total of 171,473 PCR tests so far this month. Additionally, results from 275 of the rapid antigen tests were reported on Saturday for an October total of more than 21,300 antigen tests.


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