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Arkansas virus hospitalizations drop as state adds 803 cases



The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas because of the coronavirus has dropped to its lowest point since the fall.

The Department of Health on Wednesday said the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped by 49 to 496. That’s the fewest coronavirus hospitalizations since Arkansas reported 481 in the hospital on Oct. 3.

The state’s coronavirus cases total 317,396 since the pandemic began. The state’s COVID-19 deaths increased by 10 to 5,387. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Arkansas has decreased by nearly 72 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on Tuesday that Arkansans who are 65 and older are now eligible to get the vaccine.

“As anticipated, we are receiving additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. By expanding the eligibility of those who can get the vaccine to 65 and older, we will continue to administer these shots as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have decreased our COVID-19 hospitalizations to less than 500, which is a decrease of over 50% since this time last month,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Of the state’s 887,090 vaccine doses, 553,004 have been given. Hutchinson said the White House will allocate another 4,000 doses per week to Arkansas.

There were 803 new probable and confirmed virus cases reported in Arkansas on Wednesday. Active cases continue to decrease with 4,676 confirmed and probable active cases reported Wednesday.

The Health Department reported that the top counties for new cases are Pulaski, 105; Benton, 78; Washington, 49; Garland, 35; and Faulkner and Saline with 33 each.