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State adds 1,000 new covid cases for first time in almost 5 months

by Andy Davis | July 7, 2021 at 4:40 p.m.
Sara Winningham, a staff pharmacist at the Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, prepares vials of the Pfizer vaccine for a vaccination clinic in this May 7, 2021, file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Wednesday by exactly 1,000, the largest single-day increase since February. The number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 rose by double-digits for the second consecutive day.

After rising by 55 on Tuesday, the number of coronavirus patients in Arkansas hospitals rose Wednesday by 16 to 432, its highest level since March 1.

Already at its highest level since March 5, the number of covid-19 patients who were on ventilators rose by four, to 80.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by seven, to 5,933.

“Today’s report shows the highest number of new cases in months, and hospitalizations continue to increase,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet.

He referred to the statewide tour plans to begin Thursday to talk with residents about coronavirus vaccines.

“I’m looking forward to the first Community COVID Conversation tomorrow at 6pm in Cabot with more communities in the coming weeks,” Hutchinson wrote.

Excluding Feb. 28, when 2,932 cases were added to Arkansas' tallies as part of a "data cleanup," Wednesday's increase in cases was the largest in a single day since Feb. 11.

The average daily increase in the state's case count over a rolling seven-day period rose to 530, its highest level since the week ending March 1.

With new cases outpacing recoveries, the number of cases in the state that were considered active rose by 547, to 5,192. That is the largest number of active cases in the state since Feb. 21, and the first day since then in which the number has topped 5,000.

In just three weeks, the number of covid-19 patients in the state's hospitals has more than doubled. From June 16 to June 30, it rose by more than 100, to 325. It then rose by more than 100 more over the next seven days.

Meanwhile, the number of vaccine doses that providers reported having administered, including second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, rose Wednesday by 5,289, according to Health Department figures.

That was down by more than 5,000 from the number reported a week earlier, when the state posted its largest single-day increase in doses administered in several weeks.

Reflecting a slowdown in vaccinations over the Fourth of July weekend, the average number of doses administered over a rolling seven-day period fell to just under 4,000 as of Wednesday, the lowest level since the Health Department began releasing daily vaccination numbers in January.

More details in Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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