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Covid hospitalizations, active cases set new lows for year; death toll rises by 55

by Andy Davis | January 20, 2021 at 5:33 p.m.
A nurse conducts a coronavirus test in August at the UAMS drive-thru screening site in Little Rock. More photos at arkansasonline.com/819test/. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

The number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 fell Wednesday by 86, to 1,179. That's the lowest number this year, breaking January's previous record low of 1,185 on Jan. 1.

The number of Arkansans hospitalized with the coronavirus rose slightly on Tuesday, but it has mostly fallen since it peaked at 1,371 on Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Wednesday by 2,520 — a slightly larger increase than the one a week earlier.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Department of Health, rose by 55, to 4,441.

In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted a drop in the number of cases in the state that were considered active.

That number fell by 549, to 20,391, also the lowest total this year. The state has newly classified 3,014 Arkansans as having recovered.

"This is the fourth consecutive day of a decline, and we have over 4,700 fewer active cases than this time last week," Hutchinson said. "It's up to each of us to ensure we stay on this trend and defeat this virus."

The number of covid-19 patients who were on ventilators rose Wednesday by three, to 212, while the number who were in intensive care units fell by eight, to 388.

Both measures remained well below the highs they reached on Jan. 11: 268 for the number on ventilators and 458 for the number in intensive care units.

A week ago, on Jan. 13, the state's count of covid-19 cases rose by 2,467.

Although it increased slightly on Wednesday, to 2,013, the average number of cases added to the state's tallies over a rolling seven-day period remained well below its peak of 3,086 as of Jan. 10.

More details in Thursday's edition of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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