Cases rise as state performs millionth coronavirus test

A woman submits to a COVID-19 test. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Health on Thursday reported 398 new confirmed coronavirus cases the previous day and four more deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease it causes.

The state also added 73 new confirmed cases to previous days counts for a total of 471 new cases.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in the state over the past two weeks went from almost 147 on Oct. 7 to nearly 280 on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins statistics.

The new fatalities bring the state’s death toll from the disease to 1,173.

There were 140 patients with coronavirus in the state’s hospitals on Tuesday, the most recent date for which information was available, up from 138 the previous day. Thirteen were in intensive care.

With a recent surge in new cases, the state Department of Health on Thursday urged residents to get tested whenever they are experiencing symptoms and get tested regularly, if eligible, even if asymptomatic.

“While Rhode Island’s COVID-19 numbers are not moving in the right direction, we absolutely have the power to change our trajectory,” department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said in a statement, calling testing critical.

She added: “By getting tested, you are helping to keep the people around you safe by limiting the spread of infection, and you are helping the entire state’s fight against COVID-19.”

To date, Rhode Island has run 1,015,720 tests, with more than 408,000 unique people tested, the department said. Nearly 29,600 cases have been confirmed.