LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Tuesday reported 42 more deaths from the coronavirus as the state's hospitalizations from the virus continued to drop.

The Department of Health said the state's COVID-19 deaths now total 5,148, while its hospitalizations dropped by two to 775. The state's coronavirus cases rose by 1,475 to 308,848.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Arkansas has decreased by 222.9, a decrease of 12.5%, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters the state needs to make more progress in getting the coronavirus vaccine to people age 70 and older before expanding to other groups.

Hutchinson said he hoped to be able to expand into more populations by March 1, but "we have to get further into the 70-plus population."

The state in December began providing the vaccine to health care workers, first responders, law enforcement and nursing home residents and staff. Last month, it expanded to teachers and people at least 70 years old.

The Health Department said 413,116 of the 651,275 doses of the vaccine Arkansas has received have been given so far.

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