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State reports 2 covid deaths for second consecutive day

by Ashton Eley | April 4, 2021 at 5:22 p.m.
A covid testing sign directs drivers waiting in line to get a free covid-19 self-test at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Sunday marked a two-day low in deaths from the coronavirus in Arkansas this year, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.

As with Saturday, the Health Department reported two coronavirus deaths Sunday, raising the state's covid-19 death toll since March 2020 to 5,643.

Active cases were reported at 1,732, a decline of 15 from Saturday. Total cases since March 2020 rose by 84, to 331,054.

"The numbers continue to be encouraging. Our efforts to beat this virus are working, and we must continue to get vaccinated," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said via social media.

Coronavirus hospitalizations in Arkansas rose by 3, to 145. However, ventilator use by coronavirus patients fell by one, to 24.

The state has not reported fewer than five coronavirus deaths in a two-day period since Aug. 17, when the state reported four deaths linked to the virus after one day of reporting no deaths.

Less than a month later, Arkansas health officials began reporting “probable” coronavirus deaths, in addition to confirmed deaths, raising the state's death toll on many days. Probable cases of the coronavirus are those identified through antigen tests, which are faster but less reliable than molecular tests, also known as PCR tests.

Deaths among probable cases are those in which the deceased tested positive through an antigen test, or those in which the deceased had covid-19 symptoms and had a known exposure to someone who tested positive for covid-19. About one in five coronavirus deaths in Arkansas are considered “probable” by the state Health Department.

Another 8,511 doses of vaccines were given, according to Sunday's health department update. Over 4,700 Arkansans became fully immunized, brining the total to 462,515.

More details in Monday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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