LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the holiday weekend begins, the number of patients hospitalized in Arkansas is up slightly, while the number of patients in ICU and on ventilators went down.

The figures released Saturday by the Arkansas Department of Health show a slight rise in the number of patients hospitalized, but a drop in the number in intensive care units or in need of ventilators due to the virus.

Hospitalizations rose by three cases to 1,246, the patients in ICU beds dropped 20 to 507 and 27 fewer patients were on ventilators, taking that number to 333.

“Our hospital capacity is steady, but it’s important we protect ourselves from COVID to ensure that space remains available,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

There were 2,360 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours, moving the state’s total number of cases to 462,723 while the active case count rose by 726 to 23,718. Sadly, Arkansas added 16 new deaths, bringing the total to 7,038 during the pandemic.

“Our new cases this week are the lowest in five weeks but still too high,” Hutchinson said. “But there are too many deaths that are avoidable with vaccines.”

Saturday’s figures saw 262 new cases in patients 10 and under were reported in the state. Vaccination efforts in the state continued to show some promise, with 11,234 doses being administered in the last 24 hours. As of Saturday, the state had 1,246,560 residents fully immunized from the virus, a one-day jump of 6,897. An additional 328,153 Arkansans are partially immunized.