Rhode Island hit new highs in daily virus cases this week
PROVIDENCE (AP) — The two highest single-day totals of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Rhode Island since the pandemic began were this week, but they come as the state is conducting more tests than ever.
The state Department of Health on Friday said there were 449 new cases confirmed the previous day out of nearly 14,100 tests, a 3.2% positivity rate.
The department also adjusted Wednesday's new confirmed cases up to 470, out of almost 18,000 tests. The previous one-day high was 412 on April 23, but that was out of fewer than 3,000 people tested.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Rhode Island has now surged over the past two weeks from more than 1.5% on Oct. 8 to more than 2.4% on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
The new confirmed cases over the past two days push the state's total to more than 30,000.
With four new deaths reported Friday, there have been 1,177 fatalities connected to the virus.
The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 is holding steady, down slightly to 140 on Wednesday, the most recent day for which the information was available, from 141 the previous day. Thirteen were in intensive care.
States across the nation are seeing a steep rise in confirmed cases.
Rhode Island has fined and temporarily shut down four more bars over alleged violations of state rules meant to control the spread of the coronavirus, state health officials said Friday.
State inspectors found various violations at the establishments, including remaining open after 11 p.m.; allowing customers to mingle and be served at the bar; and employees not wearing face coverings, the state Department of Health said in a statement.
The fines ranged from $1,050 to $2,450. Three of the bars are in Providence, and one is in Pawtucket.
Under state rules, restaurants can operate bars, but they must close by 11 p.m., and seated patrons must have barriers between them. Nightclubs are still not allowed to open.
The businesses must undergo a thorough cleaning before they are allowed to reopen.
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