RI reports 198 new coronavirus cases, 3 additional deaths

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Three more Rhode Islanders have died after contracting COVID-19, the R.I. Department of Health announced Friday, bringing the state’s death toll to 1,152.

Health officials also reported 198 new positive cases and roughly 6,600 tests conducted the previous day.

The daily positivity rate came out to 3%, officials said, which is up from 1.9% on Thursday.

In addition to the 198 cases reported Friday, the Health Department also newly disclosed another 54 cases were added to previous days over the past two weeks.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital climbed to 137 (up from 129 on Thursday) with fourteen people in the intensive care unit and five on ventilators.

In Gov. Gina Raimondo’s second briefing of the week on Thursday, she pushed for more asymptomatic people to schedule a free test on portal.ri.gov to help give the state a better understanding of where the virus is spreading.

The governor has also ordered the closure of workplace break rooms for 90 days. She said contract-tracing efforts have indicated that smaller common areas without windows have contributed to the spread, as workers eat without masks and in close proximity.

Raimondo also attributed to the increase in new cases to smaller social gatherings where family and friends often let their guards down.

Her goal is to run 4,000 asymptomatic tests over the next week and is asking employers to encourage their employees to get tested.

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