PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island saw a higher number of new positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, but the number of new tests also increased, according to the R.I. Department of Health.
Health officials reported 108 new positive cases out of 8,594 tests conducted the previous day. The record-breaking number of tests surpassed the more than 7,200 tests conducted last week.
For months, the number of daily tests hovers between 2,000 and 5,000, Health Department data shows.
In addition to the increase in testing, the Health Department reported three more Rhode Islanders had died after contracting the virus, bringing the state’s total to 1,044.
Currently, there are 82 Rhode Islanders in the hospital with COVID-19, including ten people in the intensive care unit and three on ventilators, according to the Health Department.
Thursday marks six months since Rhode Island’s first coronavirus patient was admitted to the hospital, a surprising length of time for doctors.
“It feels like simultaneously we’ve been doing this for two days and we’re still figuring this out, and it also feels like we’ve been doing this our entire lives,” Dr. Laura Forman from Kent Hospital said.
Eyewitness News asked Forman what the toll of the virus has been on health care workers.
“We were putting in hundred hour weeks for a while,” she said. “We’ve had physicians and nurses sleeping basements, try to find hotel rooms or places they could stay so they could keep their families safe.”
Dr. Mitchell Levy from Rhode Island Hospital agreed that COVID-19 has really taken a toll.
“The heartbreak and the pain of seeing young people die from this terrible illness,” he said. “Work long long hours, even beyond what was required of them.”
The doctors say that hopefully the past six months have prepared them for any second wave of the virus.
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