COVID-19 transmission rate on the rise in RI; 671 new cases, 1 death

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After showing signs of improvement in recent weeks, Rhode Island’s COVID-19 data is starting to trend back in the wrong direction.

On Monday, the state had a rate of 176 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days, which is an increase of 20 since Friday and 47 since the recent low of 129 on Oct. 25, according to data from the R.I. Department of Health.

The CDC uses that rate to track community transmission of the virus. Any state with a rate of 100 or more new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day span is considered to have high transmission.

The R.I. Department of Health also reported 671 new cases since data was last released on Friday and added 85 cases to the daily totals prior to that.

COVID-19 hospitalizations increased to 107 over the weekend, with 15 patients in the intensive care unit and nine on ventilators.

One more Rhode Islander died after contracting COVID-19, health officials disclosed.

Nearly 72% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated to date, according to the Health Department’s data.

The Health Department recently made appointments available for kids ages 5 to 11 after the CDC recommended Pfizer’s vaccine for that age group, which followed the FDA’s emergency use authorization.

Dr. Jim McDonald, the Health Department’s medical director, and Dr. Beth Lange, the head of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held a virtual town hall on Monday to answer parents’ questions about the vaccine.

“It is found to be almost 91 percent effective against preventing symptomatic infections for this age group,” Lange said of the vaccine.

The dose given to younger children is about a third of what’s given to adults. When asked if a child nearing 12 years old should wait for the full dose, Lange said they’re better off getting vaccinated as soon as possible, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

“For anyone 5 to 11 who is eligible to get a vaccine now, one of the reasons to get it is so that we can be together with our cousins and our other vaccinated family members,” she said.

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