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‘They are caught between two incredible hot spots’: Task Force notes RI’s response to virus


WASHINGTON (WPRI) — Rhode Island was singled out by the White House Task Force on Wednesday for the state’s location between two hot spots of the virus in the country.

Gov. Gina Raimondo unveiled a new way of sharing coronavirus data in the state in the spirit of transparency in her briefing on Wednesday.

A University of Washington model projects the peak in cases will be April 19 in Rhode Island but Raimondo does not agree with that. She says the state needs more data before creating accurate projections in consultation with Johns Hopkins University and other researchers.

On Wednesday, the state unveiled a new data dashboard showing the total number of cases over time, new deaths, total deaths, hospitalizations, how many are on ventilators and how many have been discharged from the hospital.

Even though the graph is showing a decrease in the daily number of new cases, Raimondo warns we are not on the downward slope yet.

“I do want to highlight and we are remaining concerned and we’ve been having discussions with Rhode Island,” Dr. Deborah Birx said. “Rhode Island and Providence are in a unique situation.”

Rhode Island and the Health Department’s efforts were noted by the White House Task Force.

“First, they had increasing cases from the New York City area and now they have new increasing cases from the Boston area. They are caught between two incredible hot spots in the country,” Birx said. “They are doing an extraordinary job, they are caring for the individuals on the front lines but Providence continues to have new cases.”

Raimondo says she plans to unveil more data at her press conference on Thursday, which is set for 1 p.m.

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