State use of covid ventilator sets record for 6th day of the week

The number of Arkansas covid-19 patients on ventilators continues to rise, according to data from the Arkansas Department of Health.

State officials reported 345 covid-19 patients on ventilators, two more from Friday. There were 54 fewer people on ventilators on August 14, according to data from the Department of Health.

The state passed 300 patients on ventilators for the first time on Sunday, as 303 people used the devices. The only day since then that fan usage declined was Wednesday; 326 fans were in service, up from 328 the day before.

However, hospitalizations related to covid-19 in Arkansas continue to decline, according to the Department of Health. The number of people hospitalized with the virus on Saturday was 1,362, down 35 from Friday. It’s also nine short of the January peak during the virus’s winter surge. Before Saturday, hospitalizations exceeded the winter peak every day since August 8.

Five of the past seven days have seen a decrease in hospitalizations, and 90 fewer Arkansans were in hospital with covid-19 on Saturday than August 14.

The state’s official death toll on Saturday rose to 31. Since the pandemic hit Arkansas in March 2020, the state has linked 6,645 deaths to the coronavirus.

State officials on Saturday reported 25,721 Arkansans with active or currently infectious covid-19 cases – exactly the same number as the previous Saturday. Although active cases fell on Monday, the number of new positive cases per day has increased since then, with 403 more new cases on Saturday than a week earlier.

The Department of Health reported 15,963 additional doses of the vaccine administered statewide on Saturday, 1,464 more than a week earlier and 6,820 more than Friday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson praised the increase in vaccinations on Saturday in his almost daily statement on Twitter regarding the latest data.

“Most of them are second doses, which means more Arkansans are on their way to being fully immune,” Hutchinson said. “Our work to vaccinate the Arkansans cannot stop. Please do your part.

More details in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Sunday.

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