PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While the number of COVID-19 and RSV cases are declining, the Rhode Island Department of Health is worried the state will see its worst flu season in more than a decade.

The Health Department reports that, over the last four weeks, COVID-19 has been the primary cause of roughly 30% of hospitalizations in Rhode Island.

Dr. Phillip Chan, a consultant medical director with the Health Department, tells 12 News that the state is also “in a good place from an RSV standpoint.”

“People may remember last month we saw an incredibly steep increase in RSV cases,” he said. “It was overwhelming [Hasbro Children’s Hospital].”

While that’s good news, Chan said there’s been a “steep increase in flu cases being reported.”

The Health Department reports that the vast majority of flu cases being reported involve children and young adults.

Chan said the percentage of influenza-like illnesses statewide more than doubled between Nov. 19 and Dec. 3.

“We’re starting to see flu across all ages here in Rhode Island,” he said. “It is important for people to be aware about this.”

Chan said that, around this time of year, the virus can dramatically shift its makeup.

“There’s a little bit of what we call ‘recombination,’ where some of these flu strains switch genetic material,” Chan explained. “That’s why we keep getting the flu from year to year.”

Chan said while he’s heard of some clinics experiencing shortages of rapid flu tests, there are still plenty of tests available across the state.

“One important thing for people to keep in mind is that, similar to rapid COVID tests, there are also rapid flu tests,” he said. “Frankly, they work the exact same way. They’re not approved for use for people to do at home yet, hopefully someday, but people can get those tests at their doctor’s office.”