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The coronavirus hit Central Falls and Providence harder than almost any community in the country

Dr. Beth Toolan discarded protective gloves after conducting a coronavirus test at the state's first walk-up testing site, which opened in April in Providence.
Dr. Beth Toolan discarded protective gloves after conducting a coronavirus test at the state's first walk-up testing site, which opened in April in Providence.David Goldman/Associated Press

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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and if Kanye West is going to run for president, I hope that we at least get the “College Dropout” version of him. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: As of Friday, Rhode Island had 16,991 confirmed coronavirus cases since March 1, and 960 residents had died. There were 61 people in the hospital, with nine in intensive care and seven on ventilators. A new round of data will be released tomorrow.


As coronavirus cases surge in other parts of the country, Rhode Island has continued to see its infections plummet. In fact, over the last month, there has been only one day where we saw more than 100 new cases, and fewer than 3 percent of all tests in June came back positive.

That’s the good news.

But at 1,604 per 100,000 residents, Rhode Island still has the third-highest infection rate in the country since the virus hit in March, according to a tracker published by The New York Times. Only New York (2,066/100,000) and New Jersey (1,973/100,000) rank higher. Rhode Island also has the fifth-highest death rate.

And when we dig deeper into the numbers, Central Falls and Providence still stand out as some of the hardest hit communities in the country.

The Times is tracking cases on a county-by-county basis, so this isn’t a perfect comparison. But there are only 14 counties in the US that have more cases per 100,000 residents than Central Falls, which had 4,762/100,000 as of July 3.



Trousadale (13,275/100,000)

Lake (9,863/100,000)


Lee (9,010/100,000)

Lincoln (7,993/100,000)


Dakota (8,933/100,000)

Colfax (6,247/100,000)


Buena Vista (8,726/100,000)


Nobles (7,712/100,000)


East Carroll (6,486/100,000)


Ford (5,994/100,000)

Seward (4,831/100,000)


Texas (4,969/100,000)

New Mexico

McKinley (4,880/100,000)


Lowndes (4,874/100,000)

As a city, Providence has a larger population than all of the counties listed, and only McKinley County, New Mexico, and Ford County, Kansas, have significantly more residents than Central Falls. At 3,255/100,000, Providence ranks No. 48 on this list.

When you expand the numbers to look at all of Providence County, which includes Central Falls, the infection rate falls to 2,057/100,000. That would rank just outside the 100 hardest-hit counties.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ It won’t be long for students are heading back to class at Rhode Island’s colleges and universities. But Amanda Milkovits reports that each school is working on their own reopening plan.

⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators is a Q&A with Michael J. Yelnosky, the former dean of Roger Williams University School of Law. Have someone Ed Fitzpatrick should talk to for his weekly interview? E-mail him at edward.fitzpatrick@globe.com.

⚓ It’s looking more and more likely that Rhode Island voters will be asked whether they want to remove “plantations” from the state’s official name in November. Here’s an interesting look at how other communities around the country are dealing with the controversial word.


⚓ The Rhode Island Health Care Association isn’t thrilled with Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposals to revamp long-term care in the state, and the organization says “some critical [coronavirus] needs were slow in coming” from the state.

⚓ Monday treat: This has nothing to do with Rhode Island, but you should take some time to read this fascinating story on the thief who nabbed some of the New York Giants’ Super Bowl rings the year they beat the Patriots (for the first time).


Travel: If you’re vacationing on the Cape this summer, here’s what to expect.

Movies: “The Vote,” a documentary that focuses on the battle to allow women to vote in the US, premieres on PBS tonight.

Sports: What the heck is bubble soccer?

Politics: To better understand President Trump’s favorite news source, Mark Shanahan watched Fox News for 24 straight hours. And he lived to tell the story.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ At noon, the Globe is hosting a virtual discussion called, “Should we still believe in America?” Editorial page editor (and Brown University graduate) Bina Venkataraman will be joined on the panel by Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude and Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard and MIT. You can register to watch it here.


⚓ Governor Raimondo is NOT holding a coronavirus briefing today, and most state offices are closed due to the holiday. She’ll be back on Wednesday.

⚓ The New Shoreham Town Council is scheduled to discuss its mandatory mask ordinance at a meeting tonight. Violators can be fined up to $50 for not wearing a mask in public.

⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.