Arkansas reports record COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas saw a state record-setting 42 deaths and 861 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 on the day a newly formed state coronavirus task force met for the first time.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state had 1,308 new cases Monday. That’s as the Winter COVID-19 Task Force began discussions on how to deal with the surge in Arkansas cases and hospitalizations with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The task force includes 19 physicians, state officials, and health care executives.

Hutchinson announced the panel’s creation Friday when the state reported a single-day record of 2,312 new cases.

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Hutchinson’s office provided today’s update on Arkansas’s COVID-19 response.

In its Monday update, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,308 new cases; 16,485 active cases; 861 hospitalized, which is up 31 from Sunday; 123 on ventilators, which is up 7 from Sunday; deaths added today, 42, for a total of 2,225; a total of 134,348 cases; 105,468 recoveries; PCR tests, 10,329; antigen tests, 620.

The Health Department reported that the top counties for new cases are Washington, 161; Pulaski, 130; Benton, 70; Sebastian, 64; and Craighead, 63.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement on today’s COVID-19 numbers:

“The new cases are higher than last Monday, and this may be an indication we are in for a tough week ahead. The 42 new deaths is regrettably an all-time high in a single day. While there is good news on the vaccine front this morning, we have to work together to reduce cases, hospitalizations, and save lives.”

File image of Gov. Asa Hutchinson

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