Case update: Arkansas COVID-19 cases increase by 672 Wednesday

The Arkansas Department of Health announced that COVID-19 cases in Arkansas increased by 672 on Wednesday.

State officals also announced nine new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state as a result of the pandemic to 8,230.

Hospitalizations were down by ten, bringing the total number of patients hospitalized in the state to 451.

There are currently 123 patients in the state on ventilators, down six from the day previous.

There are 5,781 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 415 active cases in Washington County and 483 in Benton County.

There were 4,935 PCR tests and 1,678 antigen tests announced Wednesday.

The new cases bring the total cumulative count in Arkansas to 508,431 since the pandemic began.

The top counties for new cases on Wednesday were Benton (64), Washington (63), and Pulaski (62).

Fayetteville Public Schools are reporting COVID-19 cases in their district as well. The school dashboard on Wednesday (Oct. 20) showed two new positive cases, for a total of 4 positive cases currently active in the district. There are 10 students currently in quarantine, and none 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. One staff member is currently in quarantine or isolation, according to the district's dashboard.

Arkansas is averaging 562 new cases per day, or 19 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 23% over the last 14 days.

The state announced that 6,332 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, bringing the total number of doses given by the state to 3,041,401. The state lists 283,505 as partially immunized, and 1,378,992 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.

The CDC will also be weighing authorization of booster shots for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots soon.

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.