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Daily COVID-19 cases surpass 3,000 in R.I. for first time

Even as the state blew past single-day records for new cases, the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 was not increasing as significantly

Maya Goode, a COVID-19 technician, performs a test on Jessica Sanchez outside Asthenis Pharmacy in Providence, R.I., Dec. 7, 2021.David Goldman/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island COVID-19 cases continued to spike through the last week of 2021, with the state surpassing 3,000 cases in a day for the first time just a few days after it first surpassed 2,000.

The state reported 3,049 new positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, ac cording to Thursday’s data update. The state’s COVID-19 data is always revised as more test results come in and get uploaded, meaning the number usually grows. When the data was revised Thursday, it showed more than 3,000 cases Monday and Tuesday as well. Monday had previously been the first day the state had reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day until the revisions showed it actually crested 3,000.

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Until this winter’s wave, the highest single-day case total was about 1,600 in early December 2020. Tuesday’s revised total of 3,277 was double that.

The percent of tests coming back positive was 12.2 percent on Wednesday, the state said, a significant increase over the weekly average leading up to Christmas of 7.2 percent.

Even as the state blew past single-day records for new cases, the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 was not increasing as significantly. There were 325 people with COVID-19 in Rhode Island hospitals Tuesday, the most recent day for which data was available. That is shy of the peak of 500 in last winter’s wave, before vaccinations were available. It is, though, an increase from about 200 a month ago and 100 two months ago, and medical professionals around the state say they’re so short-staffed they are not equipped to handle even a smaller surge.

COVID-19 related deaths have also increased in December so far, although again not to the same levels of a year ago. The state has reported 128 COVID-19 related deaths in December so far. There were 515 last December. In July this year, there were six.

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Brian Amaral can be reached at brian.amaral@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.