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Arkansas again sees decline in new and active virus cases, hospitalizations



Arkansas had 1,103 new probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to the state’s department of health.

There were 13,518 active confirmed and probable cases, down 672 from Wednesday — contributing to days of declining virus numbers for Arkansas. Hospitalizations were also down 23 to 712.

“For the second day in a row, we see a decrease of over 50 percent in new cases from last week,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted. ” Vaccine administration has progressed throughout the state, with an increase of over 94,000 since last week. We must continue doing our part in this fight.”

Of the state’s 670,475 doses of vaccine, 442,134 have been given. Currently, Arkansans over 70-years-old and educators are allowed to get the vaccine. Older Arkansans are asked to contact their community pharmacies or clinics and teachers are being vaccinated through clinics. They are asked to contact their superintendent.

There were 25 more deaths were linked to COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,199. Of the new cases, 724 were confirmed from 11,617 PCR tests and 379 were probable from 1,470 antigen tests. The top county for new cases was Pulaski County again, with 178 new cases reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on mask use Wednesday after new research concluded wearing two masks or modifying a single mask to fit more snugly could greatly reduce transmission of COVID-19.

“Until vaccine-induced population immunity is achieved, universal masking is a highly effective means to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 when combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and good hand hygiene,” a CDC report states.

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