Case update: Arkansas COVID-19 cases increase by 694 Wednesday

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday announced that COVID-19 cases in Arkansas increased by 694.

Hutchinson also announced 19 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state as a result of the pandemic to 8,166.

Hospitalizations were down by six, bringing the total number of patients hospitalized in the state to 531.

There are currently 163 patients in the state on ventilators, up three from the day previous.

There are 6,702 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 501 active cases in Washington County and 510 in Benton County.

There were 6,413 PCR tests and 1,479 antigen tests announced Wednesday.

The new cases bring the total cumulative count in Arkansas to 504,516 since the pandemic began.

The top counties for new cases on Wednesday were Washington (64), Pulaski (49), and Benton (42).

Fayetteville Public Schools are reporting COVID-19 cases in their district as well. The school dashboard on Wednesday (Oct. 13) showed 1 new positive case, for a total of 18 positive cases currently active in the district. There are 41 students currently in quarantine, and 10 of those are quarantining due to probable close contact at school. The district announced no new positive cases among staff, for a total of two active positive staff cases. Two staff members are currently in quarantine or isolation, according to the district's dashboard.

Arkansas is averaging 688 new cases per day, or 23 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 32% over the last 14 days.

The state announced that 6,951 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, bringing the total number of doses given by the state to 3,001,828. The state lists 286,278 as partially immunized, and 1,365,291 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.

The CDC recently 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.