RI reports 60 new COVID-19 cases, 4 additional deaths

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State health officials on Tuesday reported four more people have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,039 in Rhode Island.

The Health Department also reported 60 new positive cases with a daily positivity rate of 1.3%.

Hospitalizations ticked up slightly to 87, of which 11 are in the intensive care unit and two on ventilators, the R.I. Department of Health said.

On Monday, Gov. Gina Raimondo continued making her case for in-person learning at her weekly briefing as state officials are one week away from announcing their decision on Aug. 31. This comes as teachers call for distance learning to start to school year safely.

Raimondo said based on current data, it is “highly unlikely” she’d announce full distance learning, but said the decision would be based on the latest data as of Sunday night.

The governor also announced a new education operations center that is being staffed by a variety of state agencies and the R.I. National Guard. The center will be able to send teams to schools “at a moment’s notice” if there’s a possible outbreak to do rapid testing and contact tracing.

Raimondo said the state will handle COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and case investigation for schools, while the districts themselves are still responsible for obtaining personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and reporting cases to the Department of Health.

More details on the state’s testing plan for schools will be released Wednesday, Raimondo said.

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