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story.lead_photo.caption A covid testing sign directs drivers waiting in line to get a free covid-19 self-test at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The state’s number of coronavirus cases rose by more than 2,000 on Friday as public health officials say they are concerned about hospital capacities next week.

The number of cases rose by 2,122 on Friday, raising the total number of cases to 23,378, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Experts are warning that cases will likely increase starting about a week after the Christmas holiday.

There were 32 additional deaths reported Friday, raising the total deaths from the virus in the state to 3,438.

Friday's increase in cases was down more than 1,000 from Thursday's record-breaking 3,204 new cases, and down from the 2,878 cases reported the previous Friday.

Hospitalizations declined by 31 on Friday to 1,062. The number of covid patients on ventilators increased by five to 183, according to the Health Department.

Read more details in Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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