PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital are loosening some of their visitation rules as the number of new coronavirus cases in the state continues to fall.

The hospitals, all operated by Lifespan, announced Tuesday they will allow more visitors, longer visits, and reopen their cafeterias.

Visitors, who must be at least 18 years old, will still be screened for symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19 upon entry, and will be required to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status.

The visitation rules were relaxed in line with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Department of Health guidelines.

Details of the rules are available at Lifespan's website.



Three metrics used to measure the prevalence of the coronavirus in Rhode Island are continuing to decline, according to state Department of Health data released Tuesday.

The weekly percent positive rate for the week that ended Saturday was 0.5%, down from 0.8% the previous week. The number of new hospital admissions for the week was 33, down from 42 the prior week.

And the new cases for 100,000 population fell to 20, down from 36 the previous week.

The number of people fully vaccinated in Rhode Island is now nearly 575,000, the department said.



Bristol’s historic Fourth of July celebrations are returning to their full glory this summer, a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to scale back what's billed as the nation's oldest Independence Day parade.

“Oh my goodness we are so excited and the energy is ridiculous,” Committee Chair Michelle Martins told WPRI-TV for a story Tuesday. “My email, phone, Facebook page, and everyone is reaching out asking where they can park and what’s going on and when are the dates.”

The town first held its celebration in 1785. This year the parade will be on July 5, since July 4 falls on a Sunday.

Last year the town held a vehicle-only parade with appropriate social distancing.

This year, fireworks as well as a carnival and free concert series leading up to the holiday are back.

However, there could be fewer marching bands in the parade, Martins said.

“A lot of the problem was a lot of marching bands didn’t have the chance to rehearse during COVID and they weren’t together,” she said. “If some of those organizations can get together and want to come, we will have them in, and we would love to have them.”

Veterans groups are also eager to participate again this year, she said.


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