Some alarming new coronavirus numbers for Rhode Island

Fencing at a Point Judith beach near the harbor helped with social distancing on Memorial Day weekend.
Fencing at a Point Judith beach near the harbor helped with social distancing on Memorial Day weekend.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m fairly certain that our family robot vacuum is plotting against me. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 17,588 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 102 new cases. The state announced one more death, bringing the total to 985. There were 69 people in the hospital, five in intensive care, and three were on ventilators.


Governor Gina Raimondo is scheduled to unveil her plan to spend $200 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to boost the economy today, but the announcement might be overshadowed by a few alarming coronavirus numbers that Rhode Island is starting to see.

We know that Tuesday marked the first time since June 10 that the state reported at least 100 new infections, and the 3.5 percent positive test rate was the highest since the end of May. The average age for new patients is 38, far younger than it was as cases skyrocketed in April and May.

The fear in some circles is that the Fourth of July weekend may be responsible for the uptick, and Raimondo is expected to sound the alarm about too much crowding on beaches during her Wednesday press conference.

Rhode Island has moved faster to reopen its economy than Massachusetts and Connecticut, but it has largely avoided the massive infection increases that states in other parts of the country have experienced. And while a growing test-positive rate is cause for concern, it’s worth noting that the state was seeing double-digit test-positive rates in April and May.


Meanwhile, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is now projecting that Rhode Island will see 1,039 coronavirus-related deaths by Nov. 1.

It does not appear that Raimondo will announce any dramatic changes – like rolling back indoor dining – today, but there is a growing fear that schools will not be ready to reopen by Aug 31. Another spike in infections will only cast more doubt on that decision.


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.

⚓ My scoop from last night: Later this morning, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza will announce the initial steps to creating a reparations program for residents of African heritage and Indigenous people.

Amanda Milkovits reports that while most Rhode Islanders appear to be complying with the requirements to wear face masks and practice social distancing when out in public, the occasional confrontations when people aren’t following the rules are turning violent.

⚓ Virtual relays sound fun until you realize that they still involve actually running. Ed Fitzpatrick has a tale about participating in last weekend’s “Wicked Rhode Race.”

⚓ East Greenwich native Sara Gideon won the Democratic primary for US Senate in Maine on Tuesday, and she’ll now take on incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins in what figures to be one of the most hotly-contested races in the country.


⚓ Pawtucket-based Foolproof Brewery’s Pickleodeon might be the best name for a beer of all time, and apparently it tastes pretty good too.


Coronavirus: My colleague Jonathan Saltzman reports that Moderna’s vaccine appears to be showing positive results as the company gears up for a final stage of tests on 30,000 adults that will begin at the end of the month.

Race: A well-known Boston stylist explains what it’s like to be shopping while Black.

Education: While Rhode Island was quick to announce an Aug. 31 back to school start date for students, Massachusetts is taking a more cautious approach.

⚓ 🍺:🍺 Gary Dzen offers up some of the best beers he has tried during the pandemic.


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.

BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.

⚓ Don’t forget to file your taxes today.

⚓ Governor Raimondo’s coronavirus press briefing is at 1 p.m.

⚓ Congressman James Langevin is scheduled to testify at a noon hearing of the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform in favor of creating a national cyber security director.

⚓ The Rhode Island House Finance Committee meets at 4 p.m. to discuss Governor Raimondo’s request to keep her executive order on telemedicine in place for the entire 2020-21 fiscal year.


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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.