Arkansas Department of Health reported 3,323 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

Fort Smith, Ark. – The State reported 3,323 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. But, 3,323 cases was a smaller increase than the 3,705 added a day earlier, even though the number of coronavirus tests performed Wednesday was higher than the day before.

As a result, the average number of cases added to the state’s tally each day over a rolling seven-day period rose by 88, to 2,968, setting a record for the third day in a row.

And while the number of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests performed Wednesday, as reported in the Health Department’s daily updates, was higher than the number the day before, the number of antigen tests was lower.

Compared with PCR tests, a higher percentage of antigen tests reported to the state tend to be positive, possibly because the Health Department recommends PCR testing for people with no symptoms.

State Epidemiologist Jennifer Dillaha said the numbers of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations are still worrisome because the numbers are still high. She hopes the growth in cases, fueled by gatherings over Christmas and New Year’s, will level off at some point, but said she’s a little bit skeptical.

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