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State reports 2,360 new covid cases, 16 deaths

by Tess Vrbin | September 4, 2021 at 8:48 p.m.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson removes his mask before the weekly covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at the state Capitol in Little Rock. .More photos at Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 2,360 new cases of covid-19 Saturday, putting the rolling seven-day average of new daily cases at 2,018.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson hailed it as the lowest Saturday average in five weeks.

“Our new cases this week are the lowest in 5 weeks but still too high,” Hutchinson posted Saturday on Twitter.

There have been seven-day averages lower than 2,018 since Saturday, July 31, when the average for the week was 1,732. In fact, the average daily increase in the state case count over a rolling seven-day period fell to 1,990 on Friday, the first time it had been below 2,000 since the week ending Aug. 3.

But Hutchinson was specifically referring to seven-day averages for a standard Sunday-Saturday week.

“There are too many deaths that are avoidable with the vaccines,” Hutchinson added. “Our hospital capacity is steady, but it’s important we protect ourselves from COVID to ensure that space remains available.”

New cases outpaced recoveries, raising the number of active coronavirus cases in the state by 725, to 23,718.

The number of covid-19 patients admitted to Arkansas hospitals rose by three to 1,246 on Saturday, according to Health Department data. Hospitalizations have mostly declined daily ever since Aug. 16, when they reached an all-time high of 1,459.

The number of patients on ventilators has decreased every day since Wednesday, and it dropped again by 27 on Saturday for a total of 333.

There were also 20 fewer covid-19 patients in intensive care units, the second consecutive decrease. The Health Department reported 507 covid-19 patients in the ICU on Saturday.

Sixteen deaths were recorded Saturday, raising the state's official tally since March 2020 to 7,038.

Arkansas has seen a total of 462,723 covid-19 cases since the pandemic began last year. Of those, 431,852 are considered recovered. Benton County had the most new cases Saturday with 155, according to Health Department data. Pulaski County had 147 new cases, and Craighead County had 143.


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