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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)

​​​​​Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Friday by 1,337 — the largest one-day increase since the start of the pandemic and the first one that has topped 1,300.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Department of Health, rose by 10, to 1,782.

“Today we see new cases significantly higher than last Friday," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a news release on the numbers.

"The weekly trend shows we are growing in our cases toward the end of the week, and this growth reflects the activities from the previous weekend. Next week’s number of new cases will be determined by how careful we all are over this coming weekend. Let’s avoid those gatherings where groups are not adhering to social distancing and mask wearing.”

After falling for two days, the number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 rose by 12, to 624 — still short of the peak of 637 hospitalized patients as of Tuesday.

The patients on Friday included 99 who were on ventilators, up from 96 a day earlier.

The state's count of cases confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests rose by 1,047, to 97,339.

Its tally of "probable" cases, which include those identified through less-sensitive antigen tests, rose by 290, to 6,796.

The state's cumulative tally of confirmed and probable case rose to 104,135.

The number of cases that were considered active rose to a new record, 9,129, as 927 Arkansans were newly classified as having recovered.

With Friday's increase, the state has set a new record for a one-day increase every week for the past three weeks.

It broke a pattern over the past few weeks where the state's daily increase in cases has climbed to a peak on Thursdays before tapering off into the weekend.

In a statement on Thursday, Hutchinson indicated he expected that pattern to continue this week after the state's case count rose by 1,202 that day.

At that point, that was just the third time the state's increase in cases had topped 1,200 in a single day.

"If the trend continues similar to last week, then we will see around 1,000 new cases [Friday]," Hutchinson said Thursday.

The previous record was a jump of 1,278 cases on Oct. 15.

The state's average daily increase in cases over a rolling seven-day period on Friday also climbed to a new record, 942, up from 896 a day earlier.

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


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