At RI’s Rate of Increase of Coronavirus, State Headed for Thousands of New Cases Per Day
Friday, November 13, 2020
On Thursday, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced 938 new cases. Ten days earlier, Rhode Island recorded 453 new cases. A month earlier, the state recorded 159 new cases. In one month's time, Rhode Island was hit with a 489% increase in cases.GET THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS HERE -- SIGN UP FOR GOLOCAL FREE DAILY EBLAST
If the rate continues, Rhode Island could see upward of 3,000 to 5,000 cases a day.
Total hospital beds in Rhode Island are approximately 2,200 in total for all types of patients as well as capacity in the field hospitals.
But Dr. Michael Fine warns that the rate of increase in cases may get faster.
“Unless we do something different, the rate of rise will increase because remember, now we have 936 people who can spread it each to a number of others and each of those then can spread it to a number of others, so it begins to move I think much faster now unless we do something different,” said Fine, the state's former Director of Health.
Dr. Laura Forman, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Kent Hospital joined Raimondo at her weekly briefing on Thursday and warned that hospital capacity is soon to be exhausted in Rhode Island. "This pandemic has pushed us to the brink," Forman said. "These are not just statistics and numbers. This is real."
During the spring surge, the largest number of new cases in a single day in the state was 412 on April 23 and approximately four weeks later Rhode Island recorded its one day record in number of deaths — 24.
Despite the dire warnings and Raimondo’s admission that “We are in a bad place,” she announced no new restrictions.
Arrow Nearly Straight Up -- RI On Pace for 100% Infection
The rate of increase paints a dire picture for the next few months in RI.
Covid ActNow -- the non-profit data organization comprised of researchers from Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, Stanford University Clinical Excellence Research Center, and Harvard Global Health Institute -- has tapped Rhode Island's trajectory as “Critical” for two weeks.
It warns that, "Over the last week, Rhode Island has averaged 665 new confirmed cases per day (62.8 for every 100,000 residents). Over the next year, this translates to around 240,000 cases and an estimated 1,200,000 infections (100.0% of the population)."
The research group also flags RI as "A significant percentage (4.2%) of COVID tests were positive, meaning that Rhode Island’s testing meets WHO minimums but needs to be further expanded to detect most new cases."
And, "On average, each person in Rhode Island with COVID is infecting 1.22 other people. As such, the total number of active cases in Rhode Island is growing at an unsustainable rate. If this trend continues, the hospital system may become overloaded. Caution is warranted."
And, the contact tracing infrastructure is significantly under staffed, "With 665 new daily cases on average, Rhode Island needs an estimated 3,325 contact tracers on staff to trace each new case to a known case within 48 hours of detection. Per our best available data, Rhode Island has 200 contact tracers, fulfilling only 6% of this staffing requirement. With insufficient contact tracing staff, Rhode Island is unlikely to be able to successfully identify and isolate sources of disease spread fast enough to prevent new outbreaks."
The rate at which the number of new cases is doubling is sending chills through healthcare professionals. With no change in policy by Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration, Rhode Island could realize daily new cases of 5,000 or more.
On Thursday, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced 938 new cases. Ten days earlier, Rhode Island recorded 453 new cases. A month earlier, the state recorded 159 new cases. In one month's time, Rhode Island was hit with a 489% increase in cases.
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