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State reports fewer covid patients in hospitals and on ventilators; cases continue to rise

by Andy Davis | January 21, 2021 at 6:21 p.m.
Nurses Mandy Stuckey (left) and Tonya Green conduct a coronavirus screening in April at a drive-thru site at New Life Church in North Little Rock. The site, and one at Ouachita Baptist Universityin Arkadelphia, is a partnership between two Arkansas companies. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The number of coronavirus patients on ventilators in Arkansas dropped below 200 on Thursday for the first time in more than two weeks, while the number of patients hospitalized with the virus fell for the second straight day.

The number of covid patients on ventilators dropped by 19, to 193, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health. That was the tally's lowest level since Dec. 27 and the first time it had been below 200 since Jan. 3.

The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in the state fell again Thursday, one day after dropping to its lowest level of the year so far. It dipped by 19, to 1,160, its lowest level since Dec. 28.

The number of coronavirus patients who were in intensive care units fell by 18, to 370, its lowest level since Dec. 27.

However, Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Thursday by 3,106.

It was the second consecutive daily increase that was larger than the one a week earlier. On Jan. 14, the state's count of cases rose by 2,491.

The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the state Health Department, rose by 55 for the second consecutive day, and now stands at 4,496 since the pandemic reached the state in March.

"The increase in new cases is disappointing & a reminder that we cannot let up in following the public health guidelines," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.

"Our vaccines are getting into the arms of Arkansans, but remember, we are totally dependent upon the supply that comes from manufacturers. Right now it is limited."

After falling for four days, the number of cases that were considered active rose Thursday by 227, to 20,618, as new cases outpaced recoveries and deaths.

The state has now tallied 279,220 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic reached the state in March. In addition to the 20,618 active cases of the virus and the 4,496 victims, that number includes more than 254,000 Arkansans who are considered recovered.

Read more details in Friday's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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