Arkansas' count of coronavirus cases rose Friday by 570 — the first daily increase in five days that was larger than the one a week earlier.
Despite that uptick, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in the state, already at its lowest level since July, fell Friday for the eighth straight day.
The state's death toll from the virus since March 2020, as tracked by the Arkansas Department of Health, rose by 10, to 5,283.
“It is noteworthy when the number of new COVID cases increases, but we have encouraging news as well," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. "The number of hospitalizations continues to fall. Vaccinations are up by 16,955; 51% of Arkansans older than 70 have received the 1st shot, and 29% are fully vaccinated.”
A week earlier, on Feb. 26, the state's count of the coronavirus case rose by 516.
The larger increase in coronavirus cases on Friday came despite a smaller number of tests. The Health Department reported that fewer coronavirus tests were conducted on Arkansans on Thursday than a week earlier.
The number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 fell by 13, to 359.
After dipping Thursday, the number of covid-19 patients who were on ventilators rose by one, to 86.
But the number of virus patients who were in intensive care units as of 2 p.m. fell by 10, to 153.
Active cases of the coronavirus rose by 35, to 4,296. The Health Department reports that 314,732 Arkansans have now had covid-19 and recovered.
More details in Saturday's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.