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State new-case count up 95; deaths rise 1

by Ashton Eley | May 17, 2021 at 7:21 a.m.
Barbara McDonald, an advanced practice registered nurse for UAMS, begins to screen patients Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 during a drive-thru covid-19 testing at the Lonoke Community Center. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 95 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday afternoon.

It was the same number of new cases that were reported the previous Sunday, and more than twice as many new cases as were reported four weeks ago. However, Sunday's new-case numbers were drawn from about 4,953 tests, almost three times as many tests as were reported on May 9, and almost twice as many tests as were reported on April 18.

The 95 new cases raised Arkansas' official tally of cases since March 2020 to 338,782.

Active covid-19 cases dropped by 58 on Sunday, down significantly from the previous Sunday though still higher than at any point in April, according to the Health Department update.

The department reported 2,058 active cases as of Sunday. Active cases stayed below 2,000 for the entire month of April.

Pulaski County has the most new confirmed cases at 37, followed by Benton County with 12 and Craighead County with 11. Three new confirmed cases were in correctional facilities.

Hospitalizations rose by five on Sunday, to 171 patients. Of those, 30 were on ventilators, an increase of three from Saturday.

One more Arkansan died from the virus, according to the Sunday update, raising the official death toll from covid-19 in Arkansas to 5,794.

Another 3,447 doses of vaccine were administered, with 1,674 more Arkansans becoming fully vaccinated. The state has given just over 72% of the 2,597,240 vaccine doses it has received.

"This week should provide a bump in our vaccination numbers as more Arkansans aged 12-15 get vaccinated," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said via social media Sunday afternoon. "It's safe, effective, and our best weapon as we continue to battle this virus."

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