RI still seeing ‘moderate transmission’ of COVID-19, per CDC threshold

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health has started to highlight a new metric in the state’s daily COVID-19 data which tracks the rate of transmission.

The data shows the state had 15.6 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, which puts Rhode Island on the low end of the “moderate transmission” category under thresholds set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s the full breakdown of the CDC’s community transmission thresholds:

  • Low transmission: 0 – 9.99 cases per 100,000 persons
  • Moderate transmission: 10 – 49.99 cases per 100,000 persons
  • Substantial transmission: 50 – 99.99 cases per 100,000 persons
  • High transmission: 100+ cases per 100,000 persons

On Thursday, the Health Department reported 25 new cases and a 0.4% positivity rate, with 6,200 tests administered the previous day.

One more Rhode Islander died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 2,724.

Currently, 35 COVID-19 patients are in the state’s hospitals, with seven in the intensive care unit and six on ventilators, according to health officials.

During a media availability on Thursday, Gov. Dan McKee said the state is working on a way to incentivize getting vaccinated. It won’t, however, involve a lottery with monetary prizes like what’s being done in some other states.

Instead, McKee said when Rhode Island hits specific milestones in the vaccination rate, the idea is to have the state donate to charities that stepped up during the height of the pandemic.

“Would you rather give $1 million to one person or spread $1 million over thousands of people and help them?” he asked.

McKee said how much money would be donated has not yet been decided, but what he does know is that Rhode Islanders by and large are willing to get the vaccine, so a large-scale incentive program is not needed.

To date, more than 606,000 Rhode Islanders are fully vaccinated and another 71,000 are partially vaccinated, having gotten the first of two Pfizer or Moderna doses.

The Health Department’s Dr. Philip Chan said the current vaccine protects against the so-called “delta variant” of the coronavirus, which is prominent in India and quickly spreading to other parts of the world. According to Chan, four cases have been detected so far in Rhode Island and that number is expected to rise.

“We know that other variants are more infectious and the delta variant is even more infectious than other variants,” Chan said.

McKee also announced Thursday that the remaining capacity restrictions on nightclubs and live performances will be lifted on Friday, June 18.

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