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story.lead_photo.caption Registered nurse Carrie Perry records information from a driver in Wayne, W.Va., on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. The Wayne County Health Department was offering covid-19 vaccines for anyone 80 years of age or older at a drive-thru site. - Photo by The Herald-Dispatch via AP / Sholten Singer

Arkansas reported a near-record 65 additional deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday as its count of cases rose by more than 3,700.

The number of cases that were considered active rose by 684, to 25,092, as new cases outpaced recoveries. It was the fifth record-high tally of active cases in six days.

After setting records for the previous four days, the number of people hospitalized in the state with the virus fell by two, to 1,321. Those patients included 217 who were on ventilators, down from a record 224 a day earlier.

"We continue to see high numbers of new cases across the state," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.

"Be mindful of being a safe distance and protecting each other. It has been a tough day with the loss of another 65 of our friends and neighbors to COVID-19. Vaccine doses continue to be distributed across the state to those in Category 1-A, and we are also receiving additional doses each week.”

The increase in the state's death toll was just short of the record 66 deaths that were added to the state's count on Dec. 29.

The covid-19 related deaths added Wednesday brought the total since the pandemic began to 3,901.

The number of cases that were added to the state's tallies — 3,705 — was down from the spike of 4,107 cases on Tuesday, but exceeded the 3,184 cases added the previous Wednesday, Dec. 30.

The Arkansas Department of Health's cumulative count of cases since the pandemic began rose to 242,593. Of those, 213,574 of those are considered recovered.

Read Thursday's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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