Case update: Arkansas COVID-19 cases increase by 1,153 Wednesday

The Arkansas Department of Health announced that COVID-19 cases in Arkansas increased by 1,153 on Wednesday.

The state also announced 19 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state as a result of the pandemic to 7,670.

Hospitalizations were down by 51,, bringing the total number of patients hospitalized in the state to 758.

There are currently 219 patients in the state on ventilators, down six from the day previous.

There are 10,620 cases of COVID-19 considered active in the state, which includes those that have tested positive by both PCR and antigen testing methods. The ADH dashboard currently lists 688 active cases in Washington County and 722 in Benton County.

There were 6,467 PCR tests and 2,125 antigen tests announced Wednesday.

The new cases bring the total cumulative count in Arkansas to 485,073 since the pandemic began.

The top counties for new cases on Wednesday were Washington (108), Pulaski (101), and Benton (96).

Fayetteville Public Schools are reporting COVID-19 cases in their district as well. The school dashboard on Wednesday, Sept. 29 showed 3 new positive cases, for a total of 21 positive cases currently active in the district. There are 52 students currently in quarantine, and 11 of those are quarantining due to probable close contact at school. The district announced no new positive cases among staff, for a total of one active positive staff cases. Three staff members are currently in quarantine or isolation, according to the district's dashboard.

Arkansas is averaging 965 new cases per day, or 32 per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, cases in the state are down by 42% over the last 14 days.

The state announced that 9,616 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, bringing the total number of doses given by the state to 2,899,256. The state lists 293,545 as partially immunized, and 1,333,694 individuals as fully immunized. The FDA recently announced it had given full approval for the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, officials announced.

Also last week, the CDC announced a recommendation for a booster shot for those who received the Pfizer vaccine who are over 65 years of age, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and for individuals with occupations (teachers, health care workers, grocer workers, etc) that put them in close contact with the public. Here's more info on that.

All Arkansans ages 12 and older are currently eligible for a vaccine. Those who need assistance locating a vaccine can call 1-800-985-6030.