Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 222.3 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days
Fully vaccinated: 751,448 (of about 1.1 million residents)
New cases: 937 (since Friday)
Test-positive rate: 4.7 percent
Currently hospitalized: 98
Total deaths: 2,896
Rhode Island leads the country with the highest vaccination rate among nursing home staff and is among the nation’s leaders in COVID-19 vaccination rates among nursing home residents, according to new data from the AARP. The organization reported last week that 96.7 percent of nursing home staffers were vaccinated as of Oct. 17, slightly ahead of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
When it comes to nursing home residents, Rhode Island ranked No. 6 in the US, at 93.4 percent.It’s no secret that COVID-19 disproportionately hit the elderly population in every state, so it’s good news that Rhode Island has emerged as a vaccine leader. It’s also a sign that the state’s vaccine mandate for employees at nursing homes and other health care facilities has been effective.
The AARP also reported that COVID-19 cases among Rhode Island nursing home residents and staffers are well below the national average of 1.6 per 100 residents.
There are two areas of concern in the latest AARP data that are worth flagging.
When it comes to staffing, 34.7 percent of nursing home facilities in Rhode Island were experiencing shortages, slightly higher than the national average. Massachusetts, Connecticut, California were the only states in the country where fewer than 10 percent of facilities were reporting a staff shortage.
There are still 5.3 percent of nursing home facilities in Rhode Island that say they have an urgent need for personal protection equipment (PPE). That’s the highest in New England, but nowhere near Alabama, which leads the country with 18.1 percent of facilities reporting an urgent need for PPE.
The Globe in Rhode Island
⚓ My latest column: Shawn Selleck’s decision to resign as city clerk in Providence — rather than face a ridiculous impeachment hearing — should allow the City Council to focus on more important issues. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Read more.
⚓ Rhode Island’s state-run Eleanor Slater hospital, which still is not in compliance with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, closed one of its units to visitors because three patients and one staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Read more.
⚓ A Rhode Island man raised issues with prison conditions, and got punished even more for it, according to a federal lawsuit. Read more.
⚓ Will 2022 be the year that Rhode Island lawmakers approve a tax on sugary drinks? Read more.
Also in the Globe
⚓ For more than a year on the campaign trail, Michelle Wu promised transformative change for Boston. Starting Tuesday, when she is sworn in as mayor, she’ll have to start proving she can deliver it. Read more.
⚓ Vermont is the only state in the nation that has never sent a woman to Congress. US Senator Patrick Leahy’s retirement from the Senate is likely to change that. Read more.
⚓ What’s next for the Red Sox outfield? Read more.
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What’s on tap today
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⚓ Governor Dan McKee and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos will hold their regular press conference at 2 p.m.⚓ McKee and Matos will be at Central Falls High School at 5 p.m. for another public input session on their Rhode Island 2030 plan.⚓ The House and Senate Finance Committees are holding separate meetings on McKee’s American Rescue Plan funding proposals.
My previous column
Rhode Island is facing a math crisis, but there are ways to fix it.
Rhode Island Report podcast
Ed Fitzpatrick talks to Providence College professor Eric Hirsch about how to help the homeless in Rhode Island.Listen to all of our podcasts here.
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