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Health Team

More Rhode Island nursing homes reporting coronavirus cases

Posted November 19, 2020 11:04 a.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2020 11:07 a.m. EST

— The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island's nursing homes is on the rise according to the latest information from state health officials.

In the last two weeks, 25 facilities have seen new cases, an increase from the 17 facilities dealing with new cases during a comparable period ending Nov. 4, The Providence Journal reported. The total number of new cases in the last two weeks at nursing homes was at least 320, compared to less than 100 in the two weeks leading up to Nov. 4.

The rising number of cases in Rhode Island's congregate care facilities are mirrored in facilities across the country and a national association for long-term care facilities is calling on Congress to provide more resources.

About 70% of the state's nearly 1,300 coronavirus-related deaths were residents of nursing homes, according to the state Department of Health.

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HIGH SCHOOL CAPACITY REDUCED

Rhode Island high schools will be limited to 25% capacity after Thanksgiving, meaning most students will shift to remote-only learning, a move meant to control the spread of the coronavirus, state education officials said.

Deputy Education Commissioner Ana Riley said in a letter to superintendents on Wednesday that high schools should move to the “limited in-person” plans they submitted to the state Department of Education over the summer.

High-needs students, including English learners, at-risk students and students with special needs will continue with in-person classes, Riley said.

“We know that our high school students function and live very differently than our younger students outside of school (i.e. jobs, sports, etc.) and want to make sure that we account for those factors,” Riley wrote.

Organized school sports will also be canceled until January, she said.

“Ultimately, we want to make sure that we use this time to decrease the amount of cases here in Rhode Island so that we may return in January with as many students as we can and as safely as possible," Riley said.

The changes are scheduled to take effect on Nov. 30, the Monday after Thanksgiving.

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