PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island health officials say a routine audit of its COVID-19 data collection resulted in the state’s death toll climbing by 90 on Monday to 2,466.
The additional deaths happened over the past several months but were not captured as part of the cumulative total, according to the R.I. Department of Health.
Typically, deaths from natural causes are reported to the R.I. Department of Vital Records while COVID-19-related deaths are supposed to be reported to the state’s Medical Examiner’s Office, which then provides the death data to the Health Department.
Since nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have historically reported most deaths to Vital Records, and sometimes forget or don’t know to send COVID-19 deaths to the Medical Examiner’s Office, health officials explained the state periodically cross references that agency’s data with other COVID-19 data to identify any deaths that fall through the cracks.
According to the Health Department, only nine of the 90 newly reported COVID-19 deaths happened since data was last released on Friday.
Another 774 people in Rhode Island have tested positive for the first time over the past three days, the data shows, while hospitalizations ticked up to 186. Of those patients, 27 are in intensive care and 18 are on ventilators.
Rhode Islanders 65 and older became eligible to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
More than 141,000 first doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state so far, according to the data, while nearly 62,000 people have gotten both required doses.
Additionally, people coming to Rhode Island from New Hampshire are no longer exempt from the state’s travel restrictions.
Rhode Island officials removed New Hampshire from its advisory list last week, but added it back on Monday along with Louisiana, while removing Arizona.
The list now consists of two dozen states considered high-risk for COVID-19. Anyone coming to Rhode Island from one of those states must quarantine for 10 days or provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival.