PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health reported 919 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, far surpassing the previous single-day high of 701 set one day earlier.
However, with more than 4,200 additional tests administered, the daily positivity rate dropped from 7.5% on Tuesday to 6.7% on Wednesday, according to new data released by the Health Department.
Health officials on Wednesday also announced six more people died after contracting the virus, putting the state’s reported death toll at 1,243.
Hospitalizations climbed slightly to 220, according to the Health Department, with 25 COVID-19 patients currently in intensive care and 17 on ventilators.
In addition to the 919 new infections on Wednesday, health officials also said 59 newly disclosed cases were added to prior-day totals over the past two weeks.
Weekly data provided by the state shows increases in new cases per 100,000 people by week (from 279 to 362), new hospital admissions by week (from 163 to 228) and percent positive by week (from 3.3% to 3.9%).
Dr. Mitchell Levy, the director of medical intensive care at Rhode Island Hospital, told 12 News that while the recent data is concerning, the state is much better equipped to treat the virus compared to the spring.
“It’s very clear that there is a difference in this surge, and the primary difference is that people are less sick and surviving more,” he said Wednesday.
“The only other thing I would say is wear a mask and social distance. Please,” he added.
Gov. Gina Raimondo last week announced new restrictions, including a stay-at-home advisory from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. (from 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), along with an updated mask mandate (face coverings are now required when around people you don’t live with) and reduced capacity limit for big box stores, indoor and outdoor venues, and catered events.
Certain businesses, such as close-contact personal services and gyms/fitness centers, are instructed to close during the advisory hours. Restaurants and bars must end in-person service but can still offer takeout/delivery after 10 p.m. (or 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.)
After the new regulations went into effect over the weekend, Raimondo told 12 News on Tuesday that no additional restrictions will be announced during her next briefing scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.
The governor has asked Rhode Islanders to limit Thanksgiving travel and keep their celebrations small. She said she plans to announce more specific guidelines for the holiday during her briefing next week.
Watch this week’s briefing at 1 p.m. Thursday on WPRI 12 or streaming live on WPRI.com and through the WPRI 12 News app.