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Active covid cases in state fall to 5-month low

by Andy Davis | February 19, 2021 at 5:23 p.m.
Nick Kitchens, a registered nurse for University of Arkansas at Little Rock Health Services, looks over a covid-19 test during a screening Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at Donaghey Student Center.

The number of Arkansans with active cases of covid-19 fell Friday to levels not seen since Sept. 18, although the number of people hospitalized with covid-19 in the state rose for the second consecutive day.

The state's count of cases increased by just 268 amid a slowdown in testing caused by snowy weather.

The number of recoveries outpaced new cases by 845, lowering the number of active cases in the state to 6,478. That's the lowest number since the 6,158 cases reported on Sept. 18, and it's a reduction of 77% from the 27,822 active cases reported on Jan. 9.

After rising by 23 on Thursday, the number of hospitalized patients rose again Friday, climbing by five to 630.

The number of covid-19 patients who were on ventilators rose by one, to 108, while the number who were in intensive care as of 2 p.m. Friday fell by four, to 237.

In a statement on the numbers, Gov. Asa Hutchinson referred to his earlier statement urging hospitals and pharmacies to restart vaccinations this weekend to make up for shots that were postponed due to the snowstorms this week.

"Our vaccine distribution has slowed over the past week because of the extreme weather," Hutchinson said.

"Thank you to all who are distributing vaccines with extended hours during the Weekend Vaccination Catch-up. As soon as we get our 70-plus largely vaccinated, then we can move to other priorities."

More details in Saturday's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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