Arkansas on Saturday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, the first time that's happened on a Saturday since Sept. 25. The number of cases in the state considered currently infectious topped 10,000 for the first time since Sept. 30.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted the new numbers Saturday afternoon, but he offered no comment other than saying, “Today’s COVID update.”
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,024 new covid-19 cases, down from the 1,719 reported on Friday. The reported number of new daily cases has fallen between each Friday and Saturday this month, and was expected again between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Saturday’s increase of 1,024 cases raised Arkansas’ total number of cases since the pandemic began to 549,991. Of those, 530,723 are considered recovered.
State officials reported Saturday that new cases outpaced recoveries by at least 460. The number of active cases rose to at least 10,031 after being below 10,000 for more than 12 weeks, and is now up more than 134% from Nov. 8, when it hit an autumn low of 4,274.
The official tally of Arkansans who have died from covid-19 increased by 14 on Saturday. Since the pandemic reached Arkansas in March 2020, at least 9,058 people have died of the disease, according to the Health Department.
Despite the increases, the number of Arkansans hospitalized with covid-19 fell. A total of 467 Arkansans were hospitalized with covid-19, according to Saturday’s report. That’s 24 fewer than were reported Friday.
The number of Arkansans on ventilators increased by five Saturday to 113, according to the Health Department.
More details in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.