Arkansas posted its second-highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in more than a month on Friday. However, the number of covid hospitalizations fell, and no new covid deaths were reported.
The Arkansas Department of Health's count of cases rose by 274, which was larger by 16 than the increase on Thursday and larger by 67 than the one the previous Friday. Except for the 279 coronavirus cases added to the state's count on May 5, it was the largest daily increase since March 22.
Friday's decrease in the number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 sent that tally to its lowest level in more than a week. The state Health Department reported that 48 people were hospitalized as of Friday, down three from Thursday. The count had risen as high as 64 on Tuesday before dropping by 14 on Wednesday and rising by one on Thursday.
The state's death toll from the virus, as tracked by the Health Department, remained at 11,415, making Friday the third day in just over a week on which the state didn't report an increase in covid-19 deaths.
After dipping a day earlier, the average daily increase in the state's covid case count over a rolling seven-day period rose to 203. It was the first time the average daily increase in covid cases had topped 200 since the week ending March 28.
With new cases outnumbering recoveries, the number of cases in the state that were considered active rose by 126, to 2,383, the largest number since March 10.
The number of the state's virus patients who were on ventilators, which didn't change the previous two days, fell Friday by two, to 10. That was tied with April 26 for the lowest number of ventilators in use since May 17, 2020.
The number of covid patients who were in intensive care fell by one, to 20, after rising by one a day earlier.
Since the pandemic reached Arkansas in March 2020, the state Health Department has reported 838,251 cases of the coronavirus. Of those, 824,217 are considered recovered.
More details in Saturday's Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.