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story.lead_photo.caption This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes covid-19. - Photo by NIAID-RML via AP

Coronavirus hospitalizations have risen by nearly 10% over the last two days, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday that a record number of patients continues to strain hospitals in the state.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 654 new cases of the virus on Monday, along with an increase of 32 hospitalizations. The total number of current hospitalizations, 608, is a new record.

There were 104 patients on a ventilator on Monday, up five from the previous day.

“Our hospitalizations continue to be at a high level,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “This puts stress on our healthcare workers. While we have sufficient bed capacity in our hospitals, this does strain the system. This is why we need to work together to reduce our cases and reduce our hospitalizations.”

The number of active cases in the state on Monday, 7,839, was an increase of 38 from the previous day. A total of 93,487 Arkansans have either tested positive for the virus or are believed to have been infected since the start of the pandemic.

The state recorded 17 new deaths on Monday, bringing the toll to 1,586.

New cases were tallied on Monday off the results from 9,089 lab-confirmed tests and 705 antigen tests.

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