Masks will hopefully become a recommendation by the summer, RIDOH medical director says

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Dr. Jim McDonald from the R.I. Department of Health joined 12 News at 4 Monday for his weekly question and answer.

On Monday, McDonald said 10,000 new COVID-19 vaccination appointments became available.

“Keep your eyes open every day,” he said. “A lot of it depends on supply.”

McDonald said pharmacies’ allotment of doses has increased, along with the state’s, so eligible residents should make sure to check their as well.

He said Saturday the state administered over 9,000 doses of the vaccine.

“You’re really seeing the numbers go right up,” McDonald said. “One of things you’re seeing this week is we are really doing a lot more vaccines Saturday.”

As far as wearing a mask, he hopes by the summer it will be a recommendation and not a requirement.

“Let’s wait and see, I’m hoping for a nice New England summer,” he said.

McDonald said something the pandemic has highlighted is that people of color and high dense communities were unequally impacted by the pandemic.

“It has magnified so many issues we have in our culture and one of the things I really think about is equity,” he said.

He said this is one thing that we should look back on how to fix in the future.

“That’s a good example of something that requires long-term structural change,” McDonald said.

McDonald added that he’s excited about wear medicine is going, but COVID-19 won’t just go away.

“One year from now I hope we are talking about something other than the pandemic,” he said. “It’s going to be a normal disease like every other disease we have.”

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