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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters at the state Capitol in Little Rock on Friday in this still of video provided by the governor's office.

Arkansas recorded 669 new covid-19 cases Friday among its nonincarcerated population, the largest single-day increase excluding prisoners, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

Seven more Arkansans also died of the virus, bringing the toll to 249.

Nine additional cases were confirmed in correctional facilities, bringing the total number of new cases in the state to 678. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said the total number of active cases Friday was 5,707, including 108 in nursing homes, 621 in correctional facilities and 4,978 in the general population.

The number of people hospitalized remained steady at 284, while the number of people on ventilators decreased to 63.

Counties that saw the highest number of cases were Washington County with 122, Pulaski County with 84, Benton County with 68, Sebastian County with 33, Faulkner County with 31, Crittenden County with 26 and Pope County with 22.

Hutchinson said as of Friday, 43.3% of covid-19 hospitalized patients were in Northwest Arkansas, 37% were in Central Arkansas, 9.9% were in northeast Arkansas, 8.1% were in southwest Arkansas and 1.8% were in southeast Arkansas.

He said 42 ICU beds remained available in Northwest Arkansas, 60 remained in Central Arkansas, 32 remained in northeast Arkansas, 18 remained in southwest Arkansas and 18 remained in southeast Arkansas.

EARLIER:

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state health officials will provide an update on Arkansas' covid-19 response at 1:30 p.m.

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas remained at 18,062 Friday morning, according to a state website. Though Hutchinson on Thursday said 242 people had died as a result of covid-19, the website reported 240 deaths Friday morning.

Check back to watch the live video.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to view » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tKJgrkgoho]

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