PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rhode Island continues to climb toward levels not seen in almost a year, according to the latest data from the R.I. Department of Health.
As of Monday, the state had 405 hospitalizations, which is the most since Jan. 19, 2021. Of the current patients, the data shows 51 are in the intensive care unit and 38 are on ventilators.
This comes as the rate of new COVID-19 cases is at an all-time high, with nearly 10,000 new infections recorded in the past two days alone. Revised data shows there were 4,926 on Monday (the new single-day record for Rhode Island) followed by 4,885 on Tuesday.
The Health Department also disclosed 11 additional COVID-19 deaths.
Earlier this week, the Health Department estimated the highly contagious omicron variant is responsible for nearly half of the state’s new cases. While it’s still too early to see how well the vaccine holds up against the mutated virus, health officials say there’s strong evidence that a booster dose increases protection against both the omicron and delta variants.
Even though case rates are up across the board, they’re roughly two and a half times higher among people who are not vaccinated, according to the Health Department.
On Tuesday, Gov. Dan McKee announced he was remobilizing the R.I. National Guard to help with the state’s COVID-19 response, which will include providing support to hospitals, vaccination clinics and test sites.
Several community-based vaccination clinics were held on Wednesday, and McKee’s office announced two more for Thursday:
- East Providence: The Gordon School, 45 Maxfield Ave. – 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Pfizer for ages 5-11)
- Wakefield: South Road Elementary, 1157 South Road – 5 to 8 p.m. (Pfizer for ages 5-11 and 12+)
The Burrillville School Department put out a notice Wednesday that all schools will be shifting to distance learning for the remainder of the week as they deal with an increased number of cases. Three local high schools are doing the same temporarily:
- North Kingstown High School: Thursday
- Coventry High School: Thursday and Friday
- Barrington High School: Thursday, Friday and Monday
Three local colleges (RIC, CCRI and RISD) also announced plans to start the spring semester remotely.