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Frontline workers received some of the state’s first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Arkansas Department of Health headquarters Monday, while  new case numbers in the state continue to fluctuate.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use Friday.

Healthcare workers administered the first vaccine in Arkansas to Sherian Kwanisai Monday morning. Additional doses of the vaccine will be administered to healthcare workers in the coming days, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on his Twitter.

“Supply will be limited initially with the first doses going to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities,” according to a tweet from the ADH. “Additional vaccine will become available in the coming months as production increases and additional vaccines are potentially authorized.”

The ADH reported 20,691 total active cases (confirmed and probable) on Monday down 704 from the day before and up 2,634 from Dec. 7.

There were 187,057 total cases Monday, up 1,355 from the day before and by 15,015 in seven days.

Hospitalizations fell by seven in a day to 1,050, down three from the previous week. Statewide, 180 patients were on ventilators Monday, a decrease of one in a day and two in a week

There were 163,351 confirmed and probable cases considered inactive Monday, an increase of 12,103 from Dec. 7.

While Arkansans wait for the vaccine to be distributed, active cases in Northwest Arkansas are continuing along a mostly upward trend.

Washington County reported 1,762 total active cases (confirmed and probable), and 18,140 total cumulative cases Monday. Benton County reported 1,313 total active cases and 14.394 total cumulative cases.

Total active cases decreased by 77 in a day but increased by 287 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, active cases fell by 54 in a day but rose by 118 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 1,270 and 1,115 respectively, in a week.

The number of active cases on the UA campus dropped to 55 Monday from 83 Friday, according to the UA COVID-19 Dashboard.

Of those, 42 were students, two were graduate assistants, three were faculty, seven were staff members and one was classified as other. The dashboard lists 7 new positive cases and 35 new recoveries in the reporting period of Friday-Sunday. Of the new cases, six were identified through on-campus testing, and one was self-reported.

Of the 21,187 tests performed on campus, 1,040 have been positive, for a cumulative positivity rate of 4.9%.

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

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