COVID-19 hospitalizations still on the rise in RI; 1,232 new infections, 14 deaths reported


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Rhode Island continues to climb.

The state has reached a new all-time high of 461 hospitalizations, according to data released Wednesday by the R.I. Department of Health.

Of those patients, 42 are currently in intensive care and 24 are on ventilators.

State officials have called on anyone with a health care background to help with staffing shortages at the hospitals and field hospitals.

The Health Department also reported 14 additional COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, along with 1,232 new infections and a daily positivity rate of 7.6%.

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s next briefing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday. She’s expected to announce whether she’ll extend the statewide pause beyond Sunday, Dec. 13.

During an interview with 12 News on Tuesday, Raimondo indicated she may have no choice, given the continued surge in new cases and hospitalizations.

Rhode Island health and vaccination officials held a virtual briefing on Wednesday to lay out how the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed once it receives FDA approval.

Earlier in the day, Canada’s health regulator approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer.

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