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Arkansas sees double-digit jump in covid hospitalizations for the second day in a row

Despite a continued decline in Arkansas’ active, or currently infectious, coronavirus cases, the number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 jumped Wednesday by double digits for the second day in a row.

Two days after hitting a two-month low of 258, the number of covid-19 patients in Arkansas’ hospitals rose Wednesday by 10, to 286, its highest level since Sept. 2.

Already at its lowest level since June 24, however, the number of cases in the state that were considered active fell by 56, to 9,596, as recoveries outpaced new cases.

Health Department spokeswoman Danyelle McNeill said Tuesday that it was “difficult to pinpoint the reason for the jump” in hospitalized patients that day.

She noted that hospitalizations have tended to increase early in the week before tapering off.

“We will have to see what happens in the next few days,” McNeill said.

During a summer surge of infections, powered by new versions of the omicron variant, the highest the active case total reached was 16,946 on July 20.

After that peak, the total fell to as low as 10,662 on Aug. 22 before it began creeping up again after the start of the 2022-23 school year.

State Epidemiologist Mike Cima said Monday that an increased rate of infections among children that had driven a slight uptick in the state’s overall new case numbers appeared to peak around Labor Day.

Since then, the state’s new case numbers appear to have resumed their decline, health officials have said.

Read the full article from Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette here.