PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been three years since Rhode Island identified its first case of COVID-19.
Then-Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the news that changed everyone’s lives across the state.
“We discovered what we believe is the first case of coronavirus here in the state of Rhode Island,” Raimondo said on March 1, 2020.
The first cases of the virus in the state were traced back to a school trip in mid-February of 2020 organized by St. Raphael’s Academy, a Catholic school in Pawtucket. The trip included a stop in Italy, which, at that time, saw a major outbreak of the virus.
A week later, on March 9, 2020, Raimondo declared a state of emergency, saying it would provide more tools to address the situation.
Since then, there have been nearly 460,000 confirmed cases in the Ocean State, though with home testing now available, that number is likely higher.
Additionally, in the last three years, 3,860 Rhode Islanders have died after contracting the virus.
Rhode Island also has the highest vaccination rate in the country, with nearly 930,000 residents being fully vaccinated — that’s almost 88% of the state.