COVID-19 in Arkansas: Active cases hit record high for 5th straight day

National News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas continued its streak of breaking the number of currently active cases of COVID-19 for the fifth day in a row on Saturday. The state also saw its highest number of hospitalizations since September on the same day.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 6,672 new active cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, an increase of 6,672 since Friday. This is the third day in a row of 6,000-plus active cases being reported.

Saturday’s active case number dwarves the amount recorded in last year’s winter and summer waves which peaked at 27,322 on Jan. 9, 2021, and 25,721 on Aug. 14 respectively.

Of the currently active cases, 61.2% are reported to be cases among unvaccinated people.

It’s also the highest number of COVID-19 positive hospitalizations since Sept. 21 when there were 956. Although the numbers of high, they’re still lower than what was seen during the high points of the previous waves, which were 1,317 during 2021’s winter wave on Jan. 11, 2021, and 1,459 during the summer wave on Aug. 16.

The number of COVID-19 positive people on ventilators went down by four on Saturday, bringing the current total to 131. There were also 279 COVID-19 cases reported in Arkansas’s intensive care units, unchanged from the previous day.

Since Feb. 1, 2021, 86.6% of hospitalizations reported have been among unvaccinated people.

In total, there were 8,171 new cases of COVID-19 cases reported by the ADH on Saturday. This brings the total number of cases reported in the state since the beginning of the pandemic to 613,014.

“As we approach 60,000 active cases across Arkansas, we continue to see hospitalizations on the rise,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a Tweet. “Action is being taken to ensure we have adequate bed space for both COVID and non-COVID patients in the weeks ahead. Vaccine clinics are available.”

There were 16 more COVID-19 related deaths reported by the ADH, bringing the state’s total to 9,314.

On Saturday, 17,763 more Arkansans became fully vaccinated, bringing the state’s total to 1,517,314, which is 53.3% of the state’s population age 5 and older. There were also 1,591 more people who received the first shot, bringing the state’s total to 362,632.

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