The number of Arkansans hospitalized with covid-19 on Saturday dropped below 400 for the first time since Nov. 29, shortly before the surge of the omicron variant, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.
After a slight increase Friday, the number of hospitalizations fell by 41, to 371. The number has fallen by more than 52% in the past two weeks, down from 784 on Feb. 19.
Covid-19 patients in intensive care also decreased Saturday after increasing Friday. The new total of 121 intensive-care patients is the lowest level since Nov. 18, according to Health Department data.
There were eight fewer covid patients on ventilators on Saturday, totaling 60, after Friday saw no change.
Active, or currently infectious, cases of covid-19 dropped by 192 on Saturday, falling to 3,489. Friday marked the first time since June 2021 in which active cases were below 4,000.
However, the state recorded 698 new covid-19 cases Saturday, 213 more new cases than on Friday but 112 fewer new cases than the previous Saturday.
Since the pandemic reached Arkansas in March 2020, the Arkansas Health Department has recorded 822,900 covid-19 cases. Of those, 808,476 are considered recovered.
Eighteen more covid-19 deaths were recorded in Arkansas as of Saturday, raising the total since March 2020 to 10,699. While covid hospitalizations have fallen by 413 in the past two weeks, the covid death toll has risen by 408 over the same period. State officials note that some of those deaths date back to January.
The number of fully vaccinated Arkansans rose by 672 on Saturday, while 722 more booster shots were administered in the 24-hour period.
More details in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.