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State tops 2,000 new covid cases as weekend updates resume

by Tess Vrbin | July 24, 2021 at 8:26 p.m.
Breunna Lewis, a medical assistant for UAMS, administers a covid-19 test Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at the Lonoke Community Center. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

Arkansas’ count of coronavirus cases rose Saturday by 2,015, marking the biggest one-day new case total since early February, according to Arkansas Department of Health data.

Saturday’s increase follows an uptick of 1,987 cases Friday, as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to surge across the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted Saturday that the state, which last month had suspended covid-19 updates on weekends, was resuming the updates.

Deaths from the virus rose by seven Saturday to a total of 6,048 since the pandemic reached Arkansas in March 2020.

Active cases, as reported by the Health Department, rose Saturday to 15,032. The increase of 1,248 new daily active cases was 243 more than on Friday and 377 more than on July 17.

The number of people hospitalized with covid-19 Saturday rose by four, for a total of 875, again the highest number since early February. Saturday was the 19th consecutive day in which covid-19 hospitalizations have increased.

On Saturday, 155 covid patients were on ventilators, four fewer than Friday.

Pulaski County had the most new cases with 268. Benton County had 181 new cases, and Washington County had 145.

The vaccination rate in Arkansas has consistently lagged most other states. However, 32,646 vaccine doses were administered from July 18 to Saturday, the highest volume of first doses for a week since late April, state Epidemiologist Jennifer Dillaha said.

On Friday, 14,294 doses of vaccine were administered, the highest single-day increase since May 14. On Saturday, 12,186 more shots were administered, according to Health Department data. That was an increase of 3,317 from a week earlier.

More details in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

This story has been updated. It was originally published at 3:29 p.m.

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