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Arkansas' count of hospitalized covid patients falls for 3rd day; deaths rise by 17

by Andy Davis | September 23, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
Registered nurses Amanda Velasquez (left) and Ursula Dixon take swabs from a couple in April 2020 at a drive-up coronavirus testing site at Arkansas Surgical Hospital in North Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

The number of people hospitalized with covid-19 in Arkansas fell for the third day in a row on Friday as the state's count of cases rose by 446 -- the smallest daily increase on a Friday in almost four months.

Growing by double-digits for the fourth straight day, however, the state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Department of Health, rose by 17, to 12,063.

Health Department spokeswoman Danyelle McNeill said eight of the deaths reported Friday happened within the past month, and the others were from early August.

The number hospitalized, on the decline since it reached 296 on Tuesday, fell Friday by 14, to 272.

The number as of Friday was still up by seven compared to its level a week earlier, however, and by 14 from the two-month low it hit early last week.

The increase in cases was smaller by 329 than the rise on Thursday and by 214 than the one the previous Friday.

It was the smallest daily increase on a Friday since May 27.

Already at its lowest level since the week ending June 7, the average daily increase in the state's case count over a rolling seven-day period fell to 534.

With recoveries outpacing new cases, the number of cases in the state that were considered active fell by 367, to 6,981.

It was the first time the number had been below 7,000 since June 13.

After not changing a day earlier, the number of the state's virus patients who were in intensive care rose Friday by one, to 49.

The number on ventilators, which fell by three on Thursday, rose Friday by two, to 21.

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