Arkansas has hit a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic: a record high of more than 4,300 new COVID-19 cases counted in a single day.
The state had 2,785 new, confirmed cases of the virus Friday and another 1,519 probable cases, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Arkansas also recorded 1,185 people hospitalized with the disease and another 35 fatalities from it.
The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.
Public health official have warned that people getting together for the holidays would further spread the virus. Over the last seven days, more than one in five coronavirus tests in Arkansas have come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said Friday that the state is “certainly in the surge after Christmas travel and gatherings.”
“As we enter this new year, our first resolution should be to follow guidelines,” Hutchinson said on Twitter.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.