LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Monday continued seeing a low number of new coronavirus cases after a week of winter weather slowed down testing and vaccinations.

The Department of Health reported 245 new virus cases, bringing the state's total since the pandemic began to 315,759. The state's COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 11 to 588, while deaths increased by six to 5,363.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Arkansas has decreased by about 78%, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

"We're distributing vaccine doses throughout the state and encourage those who are eligible to make sure they're signed up," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. "We expect vaccine and testing numbers to increase this week with clear roads across the state."

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced a new initiative it was leading in collaboration with the state Department of Health, Walmart, the state Chamber of Commerce and several others to encourage more people to get vaccinated. The Vaccinate the Natural State Campaign is aimed both at businesses and people in the community.

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