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Arkansas' covid cases rise by 244 as average daily death toll nears 2-year low

by Andy Davis | May 11, 2022 at 4:02 p.m.
Nurse Takela Gardner heads to a Covid-19 patient's 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)

An uptick in Arkansas' new coronavirus cases continued on Wednesday even as the rolling seven-day average number of daily covid deaths fell to one for the first time since May 2020.

The state's count of cases rose by 244 — the second consecutive daily increase that topped 200. While smaller by 15 than the increase on Tuesday, it was larger by 18 than the one the previous Wednesday.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by one, to 11,410. Arkansas has reported seven covid deaths over the past seven days, an average of one per day — the first time the average has fallen to that level since May 19, 2020.

The number of Arkansans hospitalized with the virus fell by 14, to 50, the largest one-day drop in more than a month.

"I think it speaks to the different point that we’re in in with the pandemic," State Epidemiologist Mike Cima said. "While we’re still seeing breakthrough infections or reinfections or what have you, there’s a lot of immunity out there, some baseline immunity out there, that may be keeping folks out of the hospital."

The average daily increase in the state's new cases count over a rolling seven-day period rose Wednesday to 197. It was already at its highest level since the week ending March 28.

With new covid cases outnumbering recoveries, the number of cases in the state that were considered active grew by 63, to 2,119, the largest total since March 13.

After rising by one on Tuesday, the number of the state's virus patients who were on ventilators remained at 12.

The number in intensive care, which rose by four on Tuesday, fell Wednesday by three, to 20.

Since the pandemic reached Arkansas in March 2020, the state has recorded 837,719 cases of covid-19. Of those, 823,954 are considered recovered.

More details in Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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