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State's covid hospitalizations fall by largest number in almost 5 weeks

by Andy Davis | April 23, 2021 at 7:38 p.m.
Nick Kitchens, a registered nurse for University of Arkansas at Little Rock Health Services, looks over a covid-19 test during a screening Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at Donaghey Student Center.

The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas with covid-19 fell Friday by 18, to 153. That's the lowest number in almost a week, and the biggest single-day drop since the state fell below 200 hospitalizations on March 21.

Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Friday by 236, a slightly smaller increase than the one a week earlier, as the pace of vaccinations in the state continued to slow.

Active cases of coronavirus rose to 1,960, tying the record high for the month. The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by five, to 5,716.

“Our new cases are almost identical to last week,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “Our vaccination levels have declined a bit from previous weeks, but we still have a long way to go. Check the Department of Health website to find a vaccine clinic near you and schedule an appointment today.”

The Health Department reported an increase of 18,457 vaccine doses that had been administered since its previous report a day earlier. That was down by more than 4,600 from the increase the department reported the previous Friday, April 16.

After peaking at more than 23,000 earlier this month, the average number of doses administered each day over a rolling seven-day period fell to about 16,700, dropping below 17,000 for the first time since March 23.

Friday was the third consecutive day in which the number of covid-19 patients in Arkansas hospitals fell. The number had reached 177 on Tuesday.

The number of covid-19 patients who were on ventilators, however, rose Friday by one, to 23. The number of covid-19 patients who were in intensive care as of 2 p.m. Friday fell by eight, to 59.

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