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New cases in Arkansas fall from last report

1,613 infections, 14 deaths logged; going in right direction, governor says by Lara Farrar | January 24, 2021 at 9:32 a.m.
Breunna Lewis, a medical assistant for UAMS, administers a covid-19 test Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 at the Lonoke Community Center. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

The state's count of new cases of the coronavirus declined Saturday with the Department of Health reporting 1,613 additional cases, a drop from the more than 2,100 new positives reported Friday.

Saturday's count raises the total cumulative cases in the state to 282,995. Total active cases declined by 188 to 19,919.

Deaths also sharply declined from Friday, with the state recording 14 additional deaths from covid-19, down from 53 the day before, according to the Health Department. Total deaths in the state were at 4,563 as of Saturday afternoon, according to department data.

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"We continue to see a declining number of cases," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet. "Let's work hard to keep our trend going in the right direction. It takes all of us to follow the guidelines and to be successful."

Hospitalizations fell for the fourth-straight day, dropping by 48 to 1,094. Covid-19 patients on ventilators decreased by nine to 184.

Pulaski County ranked first with 257 new cases, followed by Washington County with 159 and Benton County with 150.

Health care providers administered an additional 11,258 doses of covid-19 vaccines Saturday, taking the total doses administered since Dec. 14, when the state began inoculations, to 205,089.

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That figure represents nearly 61% of the more than 337,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines that Arkansas has received.

Data compiled by The New York Times ranked Arkansas 11th nationwide as of Saturday afternoon in terms of the number of doses used. West Virginia and North Dakota tied for first, both administering 80% of their vaccine allocations.

Late Friday, the Health Department announced a reallocation of about 40,000 surplus doses flagged for long-term-care facility residents and staff members.

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Those doses will be added this week to the state's weekly allocation from the federal government of about 37,000 doses, enabling pharmacies and hospitals to further speed up vaccine injections.

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