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Covid hospitalizations hit 3-month high on day 2 of no coronavirus deaths

by Ashton Eley | June 20, 2021 at 8:34 p.m.
Registered nurses Amanda Velasquez (left) and Ursula Dixon take swabs from a couple in April at a drive-up coronavirus testing site at Arkansas Surgical Hospital in North Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

The number of Arkansans hospitalized with covid-19 rose by 17 on Sunday, to 261, according to the Arkansas Department of Health’s daily update.

It was the largest number of Arkansans hospitalized with the disease since the 278 reported on March 11. It was also an increase from the 206 Arkansans hospitalized a week earlier, and the 187 hospitalized the Sunday before that.

“Today’s report of increased hospitalizations is particularly concerning,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in his daily social media post about the pandemic. “We know the vaccine can dramatically reduce your risk of being hospitalized due to covid-19, so take some time this week to go out and get the shot.”

However, no new covid-19 deaths were reported for the second consecutive day, so the state’s tally of coronavirus deaths since March 2020, as tracked by the Health Department, remained at 5,874.

According to the Health Department, the state recorded another 133 cases of the virus Sunday.

The total number of active cases in Arkansas — the Arkansans who have been diagnosed with the disease but who are not considered recovered — dropped by 25 from Saturday, to 2,464, ending five days of increases. However, active case numbers have been steadily climbing overall, and have spent three consecutive days above 2,400. The last time levels were higher was March 21, when the Health Department reported 2,578 active cases.

Since March 2020, the state has seen 345,605 cases of the coronavirus. Of those, 337,196 are considered recovered.

Pulaski County had the most new confirmed cases Sunday with 31, followed by Benton County with 13 and Saline County with 12. Four of the new cases were from correctional facilities, according to the Health Department.

On Sunday, 4,322 doses of vaccine were administered. This bumped up the number of individuals fully immunized in the state by 2,618, to 967,307.

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