COVID-19 infections rise again in RI, 1 new death

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health on Tuesday reported 65 new coronavirus infections, marking the largest single-day total in nearly two months.

With just under 3,700 tests administered the previous day, the daily positivity rate came out to 1.8%, which is the highest since May 16, according to the state’s data.

The data also shows Rhode Island had a rate of 31.9 new cases per 100,000 persons over the past seven days. That rate, which is used to gauge community transmission of the virus, has more than tripled since hitting a low of 9.9 on July 1.

When asked Tuesday about the increase in cases, Gov. Dan McKee pointed to the fact that nearly 80% of Rhode Island adults are at least partially vaccinated, saying the state is “still very much in control” of the situation as a result.

“We’re not in a bad place in Rhode Island,” he said. “I don’t want people to think that we are, but that’s the reason why we’re still pushing extremely hard the message that vaccinations keep you safe, they keep your family safe, they keep you out of the hospital.”

While Rhode Island’s vaccination rate has greatly slowed as of late, the state is 500 people away from hitting 650,000 fully vaccinated, according to the Health Department.

The data shows the state is only administering about 650 vaccinations per day, down from around 8,000 per day during the peak in April.

“The people who are getting infected right now, the last count was 92% of the people who are either in the hospital or who have died over the last 60 days are people who are unvaccinated,” McKee added.

The state’s hospitalization and death rates, which typically lag the ups and downs of new infections, have remained low. The weekly rate of new hospital admissions declined from 21 last week to 16 this week.

Currently, 21 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with four in the intensive care unit and two on ventilators.

Health officials also reported one more Rhode Islander has died after contracting the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,738.

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