LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas because of COVID-19 continued climbing to a new high on Friday and the state reported 27 new deaths from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The Department of Health reported 13 more people hospitalized because of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 560. It's the fourth day in a row the state has set a record for hospitalizations.

The state reported 1,530 people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The state said 26% of its 9,112 hospital beds and about 11% of its 1,002 intensive care unit beds are available. Sixty-six percent of its 1,060 ventilators are available. There are 247 COVID-19 patients in intensive care throughout the state.

The state reported its confirmed cases rose by 980 to 86,960 and its probable cases rose by 187 to 4,352. A day earlier, Arkansas reported its biggest single-day increase in confirmed and probable cases since the pandemic began.

Arkansas ranks 9th in the country for new cases per capita, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The actual number of cases in Arkansas is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick. More than 14,000 tests were performed, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson said was a new record for the state.

Hutchinson said the number of new cases in the state continues to be too high.

"As we all go about our weekend, let's make sure to wear a mask and keep our distance," Hutchinson said in a statement. "We are constantly reminded of how serious this virus is and how easily it can spread."

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