PROVIDENCE, RI – National COVID-19 cases are on the rise, including in Rhode Island, where the Department of Health reports cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been rising the last few weeks, days after schools began their in-person learning return.
It’s becoming clear that we’re trending in the wrong direction. Our percent positive last week was 1.6 percent, the highest we’d seen it in seven weeks. Now it’s even higher — well above 2 percent,” Raimondo said in a recent announcement about the pandemic.
“New hospitalizations last week also saw a big jump, up to 106 from the previous week’s total of 67. We’re still well below our maximum hospital capacity, but we know that once these numbers start to tick up, it doesn’t take long before the increase becomes exponential. This same worrisome trend is reflected in our ‘new cases’ metric, which last week passed more than 100 per 100k,” Raimondo continued.
Small gatherings: More caution, masks, warranted
The spike, according to Health Department data, is mainly attributed to small gatherings of family and friends where masks and distancing precautions are not being followed.
“We’re seeing an overwhelming pattern of cases coming from small gatherings of family and friends – people who are complying with our gathering limit, but are not wearing masks or socially distancing with those outside their immediate bubble,” Raimondo announced.
“So today, I have one ask of every Rhode Islander. Any time you are outside your household, wear your mask and keep your distance.
It doesn’t matter if you’re at your best friend’s house with only a handful of people or at coffee with two friends after church. Even if you’re only with family–if they’re not the people you live with, wear a mask and keep your distance. That’s especially true when you’re with older friends and relatives,” Raimondo said.
School COVID-19 infections contributing to figures
“The bottom three lines in red, green, and magenta show cases among colleges and universities, PreK-12 students and staff, and congregate care residents. As you can see, all three of these lines are relatively flat, and in some cases even decreasing,” according to Raimondo.
“In the middle of the graph you can see the blue line, which shows all cases minus controlled settings. That’s the line that’s most interesting. As you can see, that blue line has the steepest upward slope, comprising the bulk of our new cases,” Raimondo’s analysis states.
Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.