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Arkansas covid deaths top 12,000

by Andy Davis | September 20, 2022 at 3:50 p.m.
A ventilator is shown next to a hospital's intensive care bed set up for covid-19 patients in this Aug. 17, 2021, file photo. (AP/Rogelio V. Solis)

Despite a continuing decline in Arkansas' new coronavirus cases, the state's death toll from the coronavirus topped 12,000 on Tuesday as the number of people hospitalized in the state with the virus rose for the third day in a row.

After not changing the previous two days, the death toll rose by 24, to 12,017.

It was the largest increase in deaths in a single day since March 25.

State Epidemiologist Mike Cima said, however, that starting this past weekend, the state Department of Health stopped entering death information in its data system on Saturdays and Sundays.

Instead, he said, deaths that previously would have been entered on those days are now being entered on Mondays, meaning they will show up in state's numbers on Tuesdays.

In addition, he said 14 of the 24 deaths reported Tuesday happened more than a month earlier.

One occurred in March, two were from July and 11 were from early August, he said.

Just over a week after it reached a two-month low of 258, the number hospitalized rose by two, to 296, the largest number since Aug. 31.

Continuing a downward trend that resumed around Labor Day, however, the state's count of cases rose Tuesday by 635, which was down by 206 from the daily increase a week earlier.

Declining for the seventh day in a row, the average daily increase in the state's case count over a rolling seven-day period fell to 612, its lowest level since the week ending June 12.

With recoveries outpacing new cases, the number of cases in the state that were considered active fell by 563, to 7,987, the first time it had been below 8,000 since June 16.

After rising by five on Sunday, the number of the state's covid-19 patients who were in intensive care remained for a third day Tuesday at 47.

Growing for the third day in a row, the number of the state's virus patients who were on ventilators rose by one, to 20.

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