RI Sees Increase in COVID Hospitalizations and Transmission Rate; Health Director Urges Boosting

Sunday, May 08, 2022

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COVID hospitalization cases are on the rise in RI. PHOTO: file

The number of Rhode Islanders in the hospital suffering from COVID increased from a low of about 30 two months ago to 85.

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And, the transmission rate has increased from less than 100 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period to 391 cases as of Friday’s report from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

In just the past month, admissions jumped from 49 to 85 and the transmission rate from 157 to 391. These are significant increases.

Acting Director of Health James McDonald said that the agency is closely watching the increase in numbers.

McDonald appeared earlier this week on GoLocal LIVE. He says there are a number of developments both in increased cases in Rhode Island, but also emerging subvariants that need to be watched.

This week, the country surpassed 1 million COVID deaths.

Subvariants Emerging in South Africa, BA.2 in New York

Like the Omicron variant that was first detected in South Africa last fall and then swept across the world, two new subvariants in South Africa — BA.4 and BA.5 — are sending South African cases surging.

“It is interesting you know, it’s interesting how Omicron has seen these little relatives — you know, previous variants have just sort of gone away and there’s been a new variant, but Omicron seems to be the one that actually is having sub-variants So that’s interesting — we’re seeing not just what’s going on in South Africa, which we’re paying attention to, [but] I think it’s still too early to know what to do with that,” said McDonald.

“I’m following more closely what’s going on in upstate New York with the BA. 2 — again another Omicron subvariant — these are things that are out there right now,” he said. “I think the main point is this is if you’re updating your vaccine, you’ve been boosted, you know you’re in pretty good shape.”

National Increases in Hospitalizations and Cases – Deaths are Static

The New York Times’ 14-day tracker shows that COVID cases have increased 52% in the past 14 days and that hospitalizations are up 21% over that same period. Deaths have been static over the past 14 days.

CovidAct Now continues to rank Rhode Island at a medium risk, far below the different times over the past two years when the state was the most infected area of ​​the world.

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