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COVID cases rise again, CDC sets new guidance what you need to know

Citing the latest data showing a significant increase in the spread of COVID-19 and related hospitalizations nationally, the CDC said Wednesday that residents and leaders in many areas of the United States should implement or consider stricter containment measures, including wearing masks in public indoor settings and further testing. Here’s what Rhode Island residents need to know.

Is Rhode Island one of the areas that the CDC says should consider tighter measures?

Yes. The agency said its guidelines apply to areas rated as medium or high in the community-level rating system. Four counties in Rhode Island are now classified as high: Providence, Kent, Bristol and Washington. Newport County is medium-sized.

How are community level ratings calculated?

Community risk is classified as low (color-coded green), moderate (yellow), or high (orange) “by looking at hospital beds used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area,” according to the CDC.

What are the latest Rhode Island numbers?

On Thursday, Rhode Island reported no new coronavirus-related deaths and 1,043 additional cases of COVID-19 — the first time since Feb. 1 that more than 1,000 cases were reported in a day. The state also reported 8,345 negative tests, for an 11.1% positive rate. As of Wednesday, Rhode Island had reported more cases per capita in the past seven days than any other state in the country, though testing rates now vary dramatically from state to state. In Rhode Island, new cases are up 10% from a week ago and 38% from two weeks ago.

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