PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The delta variant of the coronavirus continues to fuel a sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island, and hospitalizations are starting to follow suit.
Data released Thursday by the R.I. Department of Health showed 89 COVID-19 patients are currently in the state’s medical facilities, which is the most since mid-May. Of those patients, 12 are in the intensive care unit and five are on ventilators.
Rhode Island is averaging nearly 13 new hospital admissions a day over the past week.
The state is considered to have “high transmission” of the virus, with a rate of 152 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, which the CDC uses to track community spread.
On Thursday, the Health Department reported 268 new infections and a daily positivity rate of 3.5%, with more than 7,700 tests administered the previous day.
The state’s fatality rate remains low, however, with only two deaths reported so far in August.
Health officials have continued to urge people to get vaccinated, saying it’s the best way to protect against the highly contagious delta variant and the serious illness it can cause.
As of Thursday, 60% of the Rhode Island population was fully vaccinated, according to the data, while nearly 66% was at least partially vaccinated, having gotten the first of two doses.
Earlier on Thursday, Gov. Dan McKee signed an executive order to extend the state of emergency through September 4.