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The Arkansas Department of Health on Sunday reported 33 COVID-19 deaths, the state’s highest single-day increase, three days after releasing findings of more than 15,000 cases in Arkansas public schools, private schools and colleges since June.

The ADH reported 33 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Sunday, marking Arkansas’ highest single-day increase in deaths from the viral illness since the pandemic began. A further 26 deaths were reported Monday, for a cumulative total of 1,817. There have also been 168 deaths that were probably caused by the virus, according to the ADH.

The number of deaths comes just days after the ADH published a report listing breakdowns of cumulative COVID-19 cases in Arkansas schools. The report included numbers for each affected public school district, private school and college or university between June 15 and Thursday. At the time of publication, there had been 8,509 cases in public school districts, 2,322 of which were faculty or staff. Of total cases, 1,078 were active.

In private schools, there were 479 total cases as of Thursday, 161 of which were faculty or staff, and 40 of which were active. There were 6,079 cases in Arkansas colleges and universities, 480 of which were faculty or staff and 404 of which were active.

The ADH reported 464 new statewide confirmed cases Monday, for a total of 104,703 cumulative cases. That total rose by 5,293 in one week. Active cases rose to 8,209, a decrease of 195 in a day but an increase of 214 in a week. The ADH reported a cumulative total of 8,938 probable cases Monday, with 1,926 of those currently active.

On Monday there were 688 patients hospitalized, up by 33 in a day and 39 in a week. Statewide, 119 patients were on ventilators Wednesday, an increase of 12 in a day and 17 in seven days, according to the ADH.

In total, 101,507 confirmed and probable cases were considered inactive by Monday, an increase of 841 from Sunday and 6,193 from Oct. 26.

Northwest Arkansas continues to be a top viral hotspot in Arkansas, although active cases fell slightly Monday.

Washington County reported 488 active cases, 140 probable active cases, 10,707 confirmed cumulative cases and 1,205 probable cumulative cases Monday. Benton County reported 492 confirmed active cases, 186 probable active cases, 7,863 confirmed cumulative cases and 788 probable cumulative cases.

Total active cases (confirmed and probable) decreased by 24 in a day but increased by 40 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, cases decreased by 16 in a day but increased by 175 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 31 and 32, respectively, from Sunday.

Active cases on the UA campus fell slightly in Monday’s COVID-19 data update.

By Monday there were 40 active cases reported on campus, down eight from Friday, according to the UA COVID-19 dashboard. Of those, 35 were students, four were staff and one was categorized as other.

Total on-campus cases increased by 8 between Friday and Sunday, according to the dashboard. Breakdowns of how the cases were identified, and how many tests were performed on campus during the reporting period were not immediately available Monday night. There were 15 new recoveries.

Of the 12,754 tests performed on campus, 765 have been positive, for a cumulative positivity rate of 6%, down from 6.1% Friday.

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

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