PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Dan McKee toured a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Warwick on Monday, one year to the day since the first case of the disease was confirmed in Rhode Island.
“Since then, our world has been changed by a public health crisis that has tragically taken the lives of more than 2,500 Rhode Islanders," McKee said in a statement. “As we remember those we’ve lost, our hearts go out to their families and loved ones."
But he also noted that with recent ramp-ups in vaccination efforts, “we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel."
The Democrat, who will take over as governor once Gov. Gina Raimondo is confirmed as President Joe Biden's commerce secretary, said after touring the clinic at the Warwick Veterans Middle School with Mayor Frank Picozzi, that he would like to see teachers in Rhode Island prioritized for vaccinations, much like other states are doing.
The city is currently giving shots to residents over age 75, but over the weekend began online registrations for residents age 65 and older.
The state will transition more toward larger mass vaccination sites, McKee said.
“I think that it makes sense the way we are doing it now, because you're dealing with a population that should be served in their local community, as we get into younger age groups, they'll be able to travel," he said.
The state had administered more than 189,000 vaccine first doses, and more than 76,000 have been fully vaccinated, the state Department of Health reported Monday.
There were nearly 1,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island over the past three days, and 15 more virus-related deaths, the state Department of Health reported Monday.
There have now been more than 126,000 cases and 2,517 deaths in the one year since the state recorded its first case on March 1, 2020.
The state also reported that it has conducted more than 3 million tests.
The department does not update it numbers on weekends.
The latest seven-day average positivity rate in Rhode Island is 2.16%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Rhode Island has dropped from about 384 on Feb. 14 to about 257 on Sunday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
BROWN UNIVERSITY CASES
Brown University is investigating an uptick in new coronavirus cases on campus, involving students, faculty and staff, a spokesperson said.
The Ivy League school has reported 58 new cases in the past seven days as of Sunday, according to the school's testing dashboard, but spokesperson Brian Clark said there were few connections behind the surge.
“We were not seeing any kind of single event that had connections across the board,” Clark told The Providence Journal.
The numbers are updated daily, and if connections are found, emails go out reminding students, faculty and staff that COVID-19 precautions are still in effect.
Since the start of the academic year, “students have behaved responsibly," he said.
Sanctions can be applied if a student is found, at the end of an adjudication process, to have violated the university's COVID-19 policy. They range from a letter reminding the student of what is expected of them, to a restriction of access to campus, to probationary period, partial suspensions, and even expulsion.