PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Rhode Island.
The R.I. Department of Health reported 156 new infections Friday, marking the third straight day of more than 150 new cases.
As a result, the state is up to 85 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, which is a rate used by the CDC to track community transmission of the virus.
Rhode Island is currently considered to have “substantial transmission.” If that rate exceeds 100 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day span, the designation would step up to “high transmission,” according to CDC standards.
On Friday, the Health Department also reported its first COVID-19 death in more than a week, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,740.
Hospitalizations ticked down to 31, with seven patients currently in the intensive care unit and three on ventilators.
While the state is strongly recommending that masks be worn in schools in the fall, Gov. Dan McKee told 12 News he doesn’t think a statewide mask mandate is needed at this time, saying his focus is on getting more people vaccinated.
“If you’re vaccinated, you should be able to feel you are in good shape based on the data we have,” McKee said Friday.
A 12 News analysis of data from the Health Department and CDC shows more than 64% of the state’s population is at least partially vaccinated and 59% is considered fully vaccinated.
On Friday, neighboring Massachusetts updated its mask advisory to say fully vaccinated people should wear them indoors if they or a member of their household is at greater risk of severe illness.