Today marks one year since first COVID-19 case announced in RI


Join us for a one-hour special tonight at 7 p.m. on WPRI 12 as we mark one year since Rhode Island announced its first case of COVID-19.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While it may feel like it’s been forever, it has only been one year since the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Rhode Island.

“We discovered what we believe is the first case of coronavirus here in the state of Rhode Island,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said on March 1, 2020.

The first cases of the virus in the state were traced back to a school trip in mid-February of 2020 organized by St. Raphael’s Academy, a Catholic school in Pawtucket. The trip included a stop in Italy, which, at that time, saw a major outbreak of the virus.

A week later, on March 9, 2020, Raimondo declared a state of emergency, saying it would provide more tools to address the situation.

Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has been a part of our everyday life. Lockdowns were issued, schools were shut down, businesses were shuttered, and facemasks and social distancing became the new normal.

COVID-19 One Year Later: Heartache, Heroes & Hope »

In the past year, there have been more than 125,000 positive cases of coronavirus in the Ocean State.

More than 2,500 Rhode Islanders have also died after contracting the virus, a majority of which were in the state’s nursing homes.

On Monday, incoming Gov. Dan McKee issued the following statement:

One year ago today, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Rhode Island. Since then, our world has been changed by a public health crisis that has tragically taken the lives of more than 2,500 Rhode Islanders. As we remember those we’ve lost, our hearts go out to their families and loved ones.

Over the past year, despite being confronted by extraordinary hardship, Rhode Islanders did what they’ve always done in times of crisis—they came together to help those in need while never losing hope. I want to thank everyone who did their part to keep Rhode Islanders safe and get us through the darkest days of this pandemic.

With vaccines finally reaching our communities, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If we continue to work together and support one another, we will beat COVID-19 and come out of this crisis stronger than we went in.

Incoming R.I. Gov. Dan McKee

More than two months into the vaccine rollout, around 75,000 people have been fully vaccinated in Rhode Island.

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