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As a third wave of COVID-19 ravages the U.S., the Arkansas Department of Health continues to report record-breaking numbers of new deaths, hospitalizations and infections caused by the novel coronavirus.

The ADH reported a record-breaking 42 new deaths from confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 Monday, for a total of 2,225. That total increased by 117 in one week. The previous record for most new deaths reported in a 24-hour period was 33, set Nov. 1.

There were a total of 861 COVID-19-related hospitalizations reported Monday, topping the previous record of 830 set the day before. Hospitalizations rose by 31 in a day and 75 in a week. The total number of hospitalizations broke the state’s existing record three times in the past week.

Arkansas also broke its previous record for daily new cases twice last week, with 1,962 confirmed and probable cumulative cases added Wednesday and 2,312 added Friday. The previous record, 1,807, was set Nov. 6.

As of Monday, there have been a total of 134,348 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Arkansas. That total rose by 11,537 in one week. Total active cases rose to 16,485, a decrease of 46 in a day and an increase of 3,997 in a week.

Statewide, 123 patients were on ventilators Monday, an increase of seven in a day, and seven in a week, according to the ADH.

In total, 115,625 confirmed and probable cases were considered inactive by Monday, an increase of 1,313 from Sunday and 7,424 from Nov. 9.

Northwest Arkansas continues to be a hotspot in the state, with active cases in Benton and Washington Counties on an overall upward trend that began at the end of October.

Washington County reported 1,334 total active cases (confirmed and probable), and 13,369 total cumulative cases Monday. Benton County reported 1,343 total active cases and 10,442 total cumulative cases.

Total active cases increased by 44 in a day and by 448 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, cases fell by 30 in a day but increased by 251 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 165 and 88, respectively, from Sunday.

The active number of cases on the UA campus fell by 32 Monday after consistently rising since Nov. 2

By Monday there were 94 active cases reported on campus, down from 126 on Friday, according to the UA COVID-19 dashboard. Of those, 77 were students, two were graduate assistants, one was a faculty member, 11 were staff and three were categorized as other, which can include vendors, contractors and other non-university employees who have been on campus since Aug. 1.

Cumulative on-campus cases increased by 17 between Friday and Sunday, according to the data sheet linked to the dashboard. The dashboard itself lists 21 new cases. It is not clear which number is correct. Of the new cases, at least eight were discovered through on-campus testing and at least nine were self-reported.

Of the 15,649 tests performed on campus since Aug. 10, 886 have been positive, for a cumulative positivity rate of 5.7%. There are 91 results pending. In a Wednesday Newswire release, UA officials urged students returning home for Thanksgiving to get tested for the virus at Pat Walker Health Center before leaving campus. Free testing on campus is offered Monday-Friday with an appointment.

Sarah Komar is the news editor for The Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a staff reporter in 2019 and early 2020.

Abbi Ross is the Editor in Chief of the Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as senior staff reporter.

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