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Arkansas reports biggest virus spike in five months

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Wednesday reported 1,000 coronavirus cases, its biggest one-day spike in nearly five months

The Department of Health reported the state’s virus cases now total 353,095 and its hospitalizations increased by 16 to 432. The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by seven to 5,933. Wednesday marked the biggest one-day jump in cases for Arkansas since the state reported 1,103 on Feb. 10.

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Public health officials have warned about a third wave of the virus hitting Arkansas, which has had one of the largest increases in cases per capita and one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

About 42 percent of the state’s population has received at least a dose of the vaccine and more than 34 percent have completed their vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest spike comes a day after Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he would tour the state for a series of community “conversations” aimed at getting more people vaccinated.