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PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island is now considered to have “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus, according to standards by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the past week, there have been more than 57 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, which also represents the first time the state reached a “substantial transmission” rate since transmission tracking began in early June using a four-point scale.

The uptick in cases comes as more than 61 percent of all eligible Rhode Islanders (which includes those as young as 12) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the state health department. More than 67 percent of all eligible Rhode Islanders have received at least one dose.


On Block Island, where vaccine rates are among the highest in the state by municipality (more than 88 percent of the overall population has been fully vaccinated), the town is now seeing an uptick in new cases, causing the island to have to start rethinking their policies.

On Monday, island officials moved toward implementing a mask mandate for indoor activity. The solicitor plans to draft an emergency ordinance that would mandate masks indoors again. A vote is expected to take place Thursday night after receiving guidance from the Block Island Medical Center.

However, over the last two weeks, the island has seen at least 11 new COVID-19 cases, where three of which were people that were previously, fully vaccinated.

And breakthrough cases, which means someone has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and waited two weeks, but still contracted COVID-19, are on the rise in Rhode Island.

Since January 2021, there have been 1,121 breakthrough cases in Rhode Island among those people previously vaccinated. And 98 of those cases translated to hospitalizations, according to data by the state health department.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz.