LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Friday’s Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 report confirmed the first active case of the omicron variant in the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said this was expected and that he expects to see even more confirmed cases of the variant in the future.

“This is not a surprise, but it is a compelling reason to get a booster shot now,” Hutchinson said.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the state went up 1,111 from the prior day, making the number for the total cases in Arkansas 542,426. The active case count went up 287 to 7,721.

Health officials also reported that 17 more deaths had been added to the state’s pandemic total, which now sits at 8,930.

Nine more people were hospitalized in the past day, moving the current number of hospitalizations in Arkansas to 538. There are 90 patients on ventilators, a drop of two from the previous reporting.

There were 7,964 vaccine doses administered in Arkansas in the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 1,485,200 state residents who are fully immunized from the virus, with another 339,637 having partial immunity.