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Virus deaths up in state by 41; ventilator record set for third day

Data reported Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Health continued to indicate a slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus even as the number of virus patients on ventilators rose to a new high for the third day in a row.

Meanwhile, a day after classes started at most public school districts, the Health Department released a report showing that public elementary and secondary schools had 1,347 active cases among students.

According to a list by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement of school districts that have adopted mask requirements, such requirements were in place in 46 of the districts or charter school systems with five or more active cases.

Jeff Tabor, program manager for the state’s COVIDComm system, said he’s seen an increase in the number of hospitals able to accept transfers of covid-19 patients after the opening of additional beds at Baptist Health hospitals in Little Rock, Fort Smith and Van Buren and the opening of beds for nonveterans at veterans health system hospitals in Little Rock and Fayetteville.

He said the system had helped coordinate the transfer of 17 patients in the past week. In many other cases, hospitals that initiated a request for a transfer ended up not transferring the patient or completing a transfer without the system’s coordination.

According to rankings on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas had the country’s fourth-highest number of new cases per capita, behind Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, during the week ending Monday.

At 12,690, the increase in vaccine doses that providers reported having administered, including second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, was larger by more than 1,200 than the one a week earlier.

See the full article from Camden News here.