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Arkansas records 500,000th case of covid-19 as death toll tops 7,800

by Jeannie Roberts | October 7, 2021 at 5:17 p.m.
Registered nurses Amanda Velasquez (left) and Ursula Dixon take swabs from a couple in April 2020 at a drive-up coronavirus testing site at Arkansas Surgical Hospital in North Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

The total number of covid-19 cases in Arkansas since March 2020 passed the 500,000 mark on Thursday, only nine weeks after the number reached 400,000.

Another 893 cases of the coronavirus were reported on Thursday, raising the cumulative total to 500,779, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

"The good news is that cases continue to decline, but winter is coming," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on social media. "Don’t let cold weather reverse our progress. Be prepared by getting vaccinated."

The 63 days between Aug. 6, when 400,000 cases were reported for the first time, and Thursday's 500,000 cases marks the third-fastest time between 100,000-case milestones since the pandemic began. The increase from 100,000 to 200,000 cases last year took 61 days. The increase from 200,000 to 300,000 cases, during the worst of the winter surge of the virus from late December through early February, took 47 days.

The state's death toll from the virus since March 2020, as tracked by the Health Department, rose by 21 to 7,802.

The number of patients hospitalized with covid-19 continues to decline, dropping by 31 to 593. The number of virus patients who were on ventilators remained at 173, and the number in intensive care increased by one, to 280.

The number of cases in the state that were considered active fell for the 26th consecutive day, meaning that for almost four weeks, more people have recovered from the disease each day than have been diagnosed with it. The count fell by 189, to 7,690.

More details in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


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