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Arkansas' active covid cases hit 15-week low; hospitalizations, death toll rise

by Neal Earley | October 24, 2021 at 5:31 p.m.
Nurse Takela Gardner puts on PPE before entering a room in one of the Covid wards at University of Arkansas for Medical Science on Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Little Rock. .(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The state’s number of active covid-19 cases has fallen to its lowest level since July 7, the Arkansas Department of Health reported Sunday.

Reporting on Arkansans who have contracted the coronavirus but who are not yet considered recovered, the Health Department said there were 5,427 cases of covid-19 on Sunday, down 210 from the previous day and down 1,142 from the previous week.

The number of active cases has not been lower since July 7, when 5,192 cases were reported. By July 9, the Health Department was reporting more than 6,000 active cases each day, only falling back below that number on Oct. 18.

The covid-19 numbers reported on Sunday also showed a slight increase in the number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus. The Health Department said 391 Arkansans were hospitalized with covid-19 as of Sunday, up five from Saturday. However, 391 is still the second fewest number of hospitalizations in the state since July 6.

The state reported 14 additional covid-19 deaths, raising the state’s official tally of coronavirus deaths since March 2020 to 8,281. Four fewer people were on ventilators as of Sunday, lowering the total to 116.

Arkansas has reported 510,245 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 496,402 are considered recovered.

In a tweet Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday’s covid-19 numbers showed a continued decline in the pandemic, but he emphasized the need for more people to get vaccinated.

“Our COVID numbers continue to move in the right direction,” he said. “Last year, we saw a large increase in cases and hospitalizations in the winter months. Let’s get vaccinated so we can avoid that as we get closer to winter.”

More details in Monday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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