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Arkansas again has biggest daily virus case jump in 4 months

July 1, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — For the second day in a row, Arkansas reported Thursday its biggest one-day spike in four months of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, an increase officials have blamed on the delta variant of the virus.

The state reported 700 new virus cases, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 350,085. The state’s active cases, meaning those that don’t include people who have recovered or died from the virus, increased by 496 to 4,199.

The one-day increase in cases was the state’s highest since it reported 726 on Feb. 25.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 12 to 337, while the death toll remained unchanged at 5,909.

“While the past two days have seen some of the highest reports for vaccine distribution in a while, our hospitalizations and new cases continue to rise,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Delays in getting vaccinated allow the delta variant to spread.”

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Hutchinson appealed to the public to begin getting immunized to COVID-19 by the weekend.

The delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was first detected in India.

Arkansas has had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with 42% of the state’s population having received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 34% have completed their vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.