PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For the first time in weeks, the R.I. Department of Health is reporting more daily hospital discharges than admissions for patients with COVID-19.
Data released Friday by the Health Department also showed the first decline in the total number of hospitalizations since Oct. 30, which was the day the state shifted to consistently having more admissions than discharges.
That day, there were 170 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and that number steadily grew until reaching a peak of 301 on Thursday.
As of midday Friday, the state had 288 hospitalizations, according to the data, which includes 24 patients in intensive care and 14 on ventilators.
Less encouraging, the state again had a daily positivity rate of 7%, with 961 new infections reported and 13,761 tests administered the previous day. In addition to the 961 new infections, the Health Department also added 88 cases to prior-day totals over the past two weeks.
Health officials also announced that six more people in Rhode Island have died after contracting COVID-19.
Earlier on Friday, a new drive-thru testing site opened outside of McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. Tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals will be available each day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Additional asymptomatic testing sites will also begin operating in the coming days: South Road Elementary School in South Kingstown (on Saturday) and the Stop & Shop in Greenville (on Monday).
To be tested at any of those locations, an appointment must be made ahead of time at portal.ri.gov.
The new testing sites open as the state looks to address issues reported at existing locations, such as lengthy wait times and a lack of available time slots.
During her weekly briefing on Thursday, Gov. Gina Raimondo said the state would be doubling its testing capacity over the next few weeks.
She also announced Rhode Island will enter a two-week “pause” with new closures and restrictions starting on Monday, Nov. 30, and directed residents to limit social gatherings (including Thanksgiving) to members of their household.
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