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State's new daily covid cases rise as hospitalizations decline

by Tess Vrbin | March 20, 2021 at 6:26 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 reported 274 new covid-19 cases on Saturday, the first day-to-day increase in new cases since Tuesday, even as hospitalizations reached a new nine-month low.

The 274 cases were an increase from Friday’s 228 new cases, but a decline from the previous Saturday's 314 new cases and last month's 517 new cases, according to Arkansas Department of Health data.

The 216 coronavirus hospitalizations reported on Saturday marked the lowest tally since the state reported 214 on June 16. June 2020 was a pivotal month for covid-19 hospitalizations in Arkansas; it was the first month in which the tally never fell below 100, and it was the first month in which 300 covid-19 hospitalizations were recorded.

Four covid-19 deaths were reported Saturday, raising the state's official death toll since March 2020 to 5,533.

The state has tallied 328,547 covid cases since March 2020, according to Health Department data. As of Saturday, 2,676 cases were active, compared to 3,190 a week earlier. More than 320,000 Arkansans are considered recovered from the disease.

The state administered 19,453 vaccines in the 24-hour period ending Saturday afternoon, the second-highest in a day so far this month. Arkansas has now administered more than 850,000 doses since vaccinations began in mid-December.

More details in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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