LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Known coronavirus cases in Arkansas rose by more than 1,000 on Monday as officials continued to urge caution ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Arkansas Department of Health said 30 more people have died from the virus in Arkansas, bringing the total to 2,387 since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations for the virus again reached a new record, at 974.
The true number of infections is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
“We saw a decrease in new cases from last Monday, and this is a hopeful sign; but our hospitalizations are still going up,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “How we handle Thanksgiving this year will determine our hospitalizations around Christmas.”
As of Monday afternoon, there were 76 intensive care beds available in Arkansas out of a total of 1,136, the health department said. More than one-third of the ICU beds in use were being occupied by COVID patients, the department said.
According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, one in every 248 people in Arkansas tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. The state has seen its rolling average number of daily new cases increase by more than 37% over the past two weeks, according to the university.