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Arkansas' covid hospitalizations hit record high for 5th straight day

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Arkansas on Saturday reported a fifth consecutive day with a record number of covid-19 patients in hospitals. Data from the Arkansas Department of Health also show a third consecutive day with a record number of currently infectious covid-19 cases.

Covid hospitalizations rose by only one on Saturday, but the one-day total of 1,659 hospitalizations is the highest that Arkansas has seen since the pandemic reached the state in March 2020.

The number of covid patients in intensive care increased by 38 to 464, exceeding last winter’s peak of 458. The all-time peak of 558 covid patients in Arkansas intensive care was set during last summer’s surge.

The number of Arkansas covid patients on ventilators topped 200 for the first time since Oct. 3, 2021. The state Health Department reported 207 ventilators in use for covid patients, up by 12 from Friday.

The state recorded 8,118 new cases of the virus on Saturday. That’s a sharp drop from Friday’s 13,073, which was the state’s second-highest single-day case count ever. It’s also a lower number of new cases than either of the previous two Saturdays.

However, it was still enough to outpace deaths and recoveries, raising the tally of currently active cases by 1,435 to a total of 102,576.

A total of 9,498 Arkansans have died of covid-19, with 14 new deaths recorded Saturday by the Health Department.

Arkansas has recorded 734,834 cases of covid-19 since the pandemic began. Of those, 622,543 are considered recovered.

Throughout the state, 6,909 covid-19 vaccines were reported distributed as of Saturday, which was 1,754 more than were reported on Friday but 4,943 fewer than were reported on Jan. 15. According to Health Department data, 54% of Arkansans 5 and older are fully vaccinated against covid-19.

More details in Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.