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story.lead_photo.caption Barbara McDonald, an advanced practice registered nurse for UAMS, screens patients Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 during a drive-thru covid-19 testing at the Lonoke Community Center. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

The number of Arkansans hospitalized with the coronavirus rose to a new high on Thursday as the state's count of cases grew by more than 3,300.

The number of cases that were considered active rose by 892, to 25,984, setting a new record for the second day in a row, as new cases continued to outpace recoveries.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by 25, to 3,926.

In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted that the 3,323 cases that were added to the state's tallies on Thursday represented a smaller increase than the 3,705 that were added a day earlier.

"Yesterday presented a lower number of new cases and higher testing than the day before," Hutchinson said.

"We also continue to receive and administer doses of vaccine throughout the state. It is critical that we all work together to protect ourselves and our neighbors as this virus steadily spreads across Arkansas.”

The increase on Thursday was larger than the 2,708 cases that were added the previous Thursday, Dec. 31.

As a result, the average number of cases added to the state's tallies each day over a rolling seven-day period rose by 88, to 2,968, setting a new record for the third day in a row.

After declining on Wednesday, the number of virus patients in the state's hospitals rose Thursday by five, to 1,326, breaking Tuesday's record of 1,323 hospitalized patients. The number of covid-19 patients in Arkansas hospitals topped 1,300 for the first time on Tuesday and has remained above that mark ever since.

The patients in hospitals included 218 who were on ventilators, up from 217 a day earlier.

The state's cumulative count of cases since the pandemic began rose to 245,916. Of those, 215,980 are considered recovered.

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

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