LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Hospitalizations for the illness caused by the new coronavirus have set a second record high Monday for Arkansas in three days, the state Department of Health reported.

The 1,371 COVID-19 hospitalizations bested the record 1,346 set Saturday.

"Today's report of 31 additional hospitalizations will add to the load of our health care workers," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. "The better news in the new cases are starting to slow somewhat. Let's work toward a true downward trend."

The 1,268 new cases brought the total number since the Arkansas outbreak started in early March to 256,344, the health department reported. Active COVID-19 cases numbered 25,534 Monday, almost 2,000 fewer than Sunday, but 38 new deaths rose the state's COVID-19 death toll to 4,081.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.

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