RI COVID-19 test sites closed Monday; 7 new deaths reported

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health on Sunday said seven more Rhode Islanders have died with COVID-19 since Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths to 63.

There were 316 new positive cases on Sunday, bringing Rhode Island’s cumulative total to 2,665.

The health department also announced that all outdoor drive-through testing sites will be closed on Monday because of the forecast for heavy rain and wind.

Those with appointments to be tested for COVID-19 on Monday will be rescheduled for testing on Tuesday at the same time, according to the health department, which also asked doctors not to schedule any more appointments for Monday.

The testing sites that will be closed include URI, CCRI, Rhode Island College, R.I. Hospital, Kent Hospital, Newport Hospital, Westerly Hospital, the CVS site at Twin River, and respiratory clinics with outdoor tents.

There are now 201 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Rhode Island, with 50 in the intensive care unit.

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The new deaths announced Sunday included two people in their 60s, two people in their 70s, two people in their 80s and one person in their 90s.

Spokesperson David Levesque said six of the deaths were connected to nursing homes, where many of Rhode Island’s deadly coronavirus cases have originated. Dozens of nursing home patients have died so far.

Nursing homes and congregate settings such as group homes and homeless shelters have been of high concern to state officials, because of the close contact between residents and staffers who sometimes also work at other homes.

Last week, the state’s youngest victim yet — a woman in her 20s — died at a group home for people with disabilities. Health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said she was tested for COVID-19 after her death.

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Gov. Gina Raimondo did not hold her usual daily briefing on Sunday, instead recording an Easter video message in advance with her husband Andy Moffit.

She urged Rhode Islanders not to gather with extended family for the holiday, and to do one kind thing for another person each day.

Raimondo’s usual daily news conference is scheduled to resume on Monday at 1 p.m. Raimondo said Saturday she may have further announcements this week related to home improvement stores, after expressing concern that too many people were going there to shop for non-necessities.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook

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