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Arkansas Deaths From COVID-19 Top 5,000, Big Decline In Hospitalizations

UAMS Medical Assistant Latondra Ford sticks a swab deep into the nose of a North Little Rock Police officer being tested for the coronavirus.
Michael Hibblen

COVID-19 deaths topped 5,000 in Thursday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health, while new cases rose by 2,469, more than the 1,892 new cases on the previous Thursday.

The new confirmed and probable cases pushed the cumulative total to 302,430. Active confirmed and probable cases rose by 459 to 16,922. Deaths rose by 24 to 5,009. Hospitalizations fell by 69 to total 815, well below the 996 on the previous Thursday. The ADH also reported 83 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Thursday, down from 99 on Wednesday.

The state has received 536,825 vaccines since federal distribution began Dec. 14, including 17,600 delivered within the past 24 hours. Vaccines administered in the previous 24 hours rose by 13,037 to 329,521, or 61.4% of vaccines received.

The federal program in which CVS and Walgreens is managing vaccinations in nursing homes and other long term care facilities has received 49,400 vaccines since Dec. 28. Vaccines administered in the past 24 hours rose by 746 to 18,285, or 37% of vaccines received.

“The best news today is that our hospitalizations decreased by 69; but it is disappointing that our deaths because of COVID-19 have now exceeded 5,000 Arkansans. Our heart goes out to those families who have lost loved ones. All of this is a reminder that our actions make a difference,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

Also, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement reported that 122 Arkansas school districts have COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, down from 128 a week ago. Of those districts, six have 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 1% of local residents, down from seven districts last week.

The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students.

New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests:

  • Total confirmed and probable cases: 302,899, up 2,469
  • Total confirmed and probable active cases: 16,992, up 459
  • Total confirmed and probable deaths: 5,009, up 24
  • There were 12,782 test results provided in the previous 24 hours
  • There were 2,068 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours

Hospitalizations: 815, down 69
Ventilators: 145, up 3

The top five counties with new known cases reported Thursday were: Pulaski (349), Garland (203), Benton (178), Washington (154), and Washington (124). The counties accounted for 40.8% of the 2,469 new confirmed and probable cases.

As of Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., there were 26,633,017 U.S. cases and 454,272 deaths. Globally, there were 104,694,138 cases and 2,277,821 deaths.

This story comes from the staff of Talk Business & Politics, a content partner with KUAR News. You can hear the weekly program on Mondays at 6:06 p.m.
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