Raimondo pushes weekly coronavirus briefing to Thursday; 605 new cases, 8 deaths reported


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health updated its weekly COVID-19 data on Tuesday, showing stark increases in a couple of key metrics.

The state’s percent positive by week rose by two full percentage points (from 3.9% last week to 5.9% this week) while the rate of new cases per 100,000 residents increased from 363 to 535, according to the Health Department.

The rate of new hospital admissions by week also ticked up to 247 from 243.

With percent positive by week now above 5%, all three of those metrics have exceeded the thresholds put forth by state health officials. (New hospital admissions was set to fewer than 210 and new cases per 100,00 was set to fewer than 100.)

The Health Department also reported 605 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday and a daily positivity rate of 6.2%, with more than 9,700 tests administered the previous day.

On Monday, the data showed more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections on two separate days last week – the biggest daily totals since the pandemic began.

Another eight people in Rhode Island have died after contracting the virus, putting the reported death toll at 1,278.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 climbed to 265, of which 22 are currently in intensive care and 10 are on ventilators, health officials said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office announced that her coronavirus briefing this week was rescheduled to 1 p.m. Thursday.

Raimondo had initially planned to go back to her usual Wednesday briefing slot after holding them on Thursday the past two weeks due to Election Day and Veterans Day.

The governor’s office said next week’s briefing will be back to 1 p.m. Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. After that it will move to 1 p.m. Thursday for the foreseeable future, according to her office.

Five more states were added to Rhode Island’s travel advisory list on Monday: Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. The list now consists of 42 states and Puerto Rico.

In Providence, Mayor Jorge Elorza on Tuesday cut the limit on social gatherings to five and the limit on catered events to 10 attendees indoors and 25 attendees outdoors.

Additionally, Pfizer announced that Rhode Island was selected as one of four states to take part in its COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program.

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