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Arkansas tops 10,000 covid deaths

by Tess Vrbin | February 12, 2022 at 7:11 p.m.
Nurse Brionna Rivers looks in the room of a Covid-19 patient while the patient is treated in one of the Covid wards at University of Arkansas for Medical Science on Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Little Rock. .More photos at www.arkansasonline.com/725covid/.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Arkansas reported its 10,000th death from covid-19 on Saturday, less than 700 days after reporting its first.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 48 more covid deaths on Saturday, raising the total since March 2020 to 10,025. It was the highest single-day death toll in more than a year, after 52 covid deaths were reported on Jan. 27, 2021.

The Health Department's daily update on covid deaths only reflects the number reported on that day, and does not necessarily reflect when the death occurred.

Arkansas' first report of covid deaths in the state was on March 24, 2020, when the Health Department announced that two Arkansans had died from the disease. The first case in Arkansas had been reported less than two weeks earlier.

Although the death toll rose on Saturday, other numbers have been on the decline. Arkansas reported 102 fewer people hospitalized with the disease on Saturday. The new total of 1,136 covid hospitalizations is the state's lowest since Jan. 10, and the second-largest decrease in covid hospitalizations the state has seen, behind only the drop of 118 hospitalizations on Tuesday.

There were 26 fewer patients in intensive care Saturday, totaling 349, and 22 fewer on ventilators, totaling 168, according to Health Department data.

Officials on Saturday reported 1,931 new cases diagnosed in Arkansas. That was down from the previous day's 1,947, though it was up from the previous Saturday's 1,631. It was a dramatic drop from the 11,596 new cases diagnosed four weeks earlier during the surge of the coronavirus' omicron variant.

Recoveries and deaths outpaced new cases, meaning that active, or currently infectious, cases dropped by 958 on Saturday. The total of 20,559 active cases was just over half the total on the previous Saturday, Feb. 5, which was 41,069.

Since March 2020, Arkansas has reported 806,076 cases of covid-19. Of those, 775,256 are now considered recovered.

On the vaccination side, the 3,700 covid-19 vaccines administered in the 24-hour period ending Saturday were the most the state has reported in a week and a half, according to Health Department data.

More details in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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