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Don’t miss these 2022 predictions for Rhode Island

We asked a bunch of well-known Rhode Islanders from various sectors to offer some thoughts about what to expect in 2022. Here’s what they had to say

Happy Thursday! I’m Dan McGowan and my New Year’s resolution is to add one new meal to my rather bland diet of pizza, chicken fingers, and steak. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Coronavirus updates

Rhode Island has a high level of transmission: 1,066.5 total new cases per 100K population in the past 7 days

Fully vaccinated: 824,068 (of about 1.1 million residents)

New cases: 2,697

Test-positive rate: 12.6 percent

Currently hospitalized: 317

Total deaths: 3,062

More stats from the R.I. Department of Health. Globe Rhode Island COVID-19 news and resources. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Next newsletter


Leading off

Programming note: There will be no Rhode Map tomorrow, but I’ll be back in your inbox first thing Monday morning. Happy New Year!

Welcome to the final Rhode Map of 2021. Thank you to our tens of thousands of readers who receive this newsletter every morning. Please know that it’s your subscription to the Globe that makes it possible for our team to cover Rhode Island’s most important issues. You can sign up here.

Now, let’s get to some predictions. I asked a bunch of well-known Rhode Islanders from various sectors to offer some thoughts about what to expect in 2022. Here’s what they had to say.

Dr. Megan Ranney

Emergency room physician

The optimist in me thinks 2022 will be a year of coming back together, both physically and emotionally, as we finally make it to the other side of the pandemic. The pessimist in me worries that the health care system has already been broken, and that in 2022 we will just begin to comprehend the implications for our community’s health.

Nina Pande

Skills for Rhode Island’s Future

2022 will continue to provide great opportunities for work place norms to evolve as industries continue to see significant turnover of employees. Employers will need to adopt creative strategies to attract talent, offer more competitive salary packages, provide remote working options and an attractive work-life balance. This will also provide the moment to have meaningful conversations on how to promote more inclusive hiring practices.


Neil Steinberg

Rhode Island Foundation

Rhode Island leaders will formalize an equitable, sustainable, transformative implementation plan to allocate the state’s ARPA funding over the next few years, including a high level of oversight.

Karen Santilli

Crossroads Rhode Island

In 2022 we will see the conversation around homelessness move beyond the need for more shelters to actual solutions, like using federal recovery funds to build more housing that is desperately needed, thus moving RI towards becoming the first state to end homelessness.

David Hardy

Orsted Offshore North America 

Rhode Islanders have heard about offshore wind quite a bit lately, but 2022 is the year when the offshore wind industry will really take off, with major investments, hundreds of new jobs, construction ramping up in the region, and the acceleration of a U.S. supply chain years in the making.

Timothy J. Babineau 


People will come back to work after “the great resignation” and COVID restrictions will ease by the summer of 2022.

Marcela Betancur

Latino Policy Institute

We’ll see at least five elected officials try to dance – and fail – at PVD Fest. But seriously, we will finally reach a COVID variant that is equivalent to the common cold.

Buff Chace

Cornish Associates

My prediction and firm hope for 2022, is that Providence and its critical partners will mobilize our diverse experience and skill to build climate resilience in all our neighborhoods. Severe weather is hammering on the front door of our capital city, demanding we pay attention. We must move NOW to protect the communities bearing the brunt of increased storm impacts and sea level rise.


Emily Oster

Brown University

My main prediction is January and February will be extremely chaotic as society rapidly adapts to a more contagious and less severe variant. The attitude towards COVID was going to need to shift to accept endemic COVID at some point, but Omicron has forced this shift to be much more rapid. 

Larry Warner

United Way of Rhode Island

Rhode Islanders will rise to the occasion – whether through their generosity, advocacy, or volunteerism – to build racial equity and opportunities for all of our neighbors. 

Tanja Kubas-Meyer

Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families. I predict that 2022 will be the year that, through rate reform, our coalition members and their staffs are finally provided the resources they need to deliver the services that our children and families require to thrive here in Rhode Island.

Charles Kelley

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

I predict that in 2022 more employers will help their employees pay down their student loans.

Liza Burkin

Providence Streets Coalition 

As traffic and congestion continue to increase in and around Providence, 2022 will see continued demand for better transportation options – like public busses and safe biking – that make Providence a more desirable city in which to live, work, and do business.


Kristen Adamo

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

I am already seeing coalitions of businesses and individuals working together for the betterment of Providence and Rhode Island as a whole – just look at the work that is being done downtown, where a lot of us are joining forces on ways to make the area safer and more vibrant. It is my hope, and my prediction, that these types of collaborative and strategic efforts will get the funding needed to affect real, positive change throughout Rhode Island.

Jason Iannuccilli

PureVita Labs

2022 will be a big year for the cannabis industry in Rhode Island. Recreational adult use legalization is on the horizon and our state is poised to ensure that only safe and accurately labeled products are sold in our market, thanks to proper analytical testing and regulation. 

Dan McGowan

Boston Globe

What everyone ⬆️ said. Plus, the Friars will be dancing, the Knicks will make the playoffs, and The Rock will return at WrestleMania. 🖐️🎤

The Globe in Rhode Island

⚓ On the latest Rhode Island Report podcast, you get to meet the Globe Rhode Island team and learn about why we’re so passionate about the work we do. Read more.

⚓ In Central Falls, the COVID-19 crisis is measured by long lines around the block. Read more.

⚓ The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority on Wednesday provided some information about a data breach that compromised the personal health information for thousands of people. Read more.


⚓ Yale New Haven Health, which includes Westerly Hospital, said it would institute an “extremely limited” visitation policy systemwide starting Thursday because of concerns over the Omicron variant and the increasing community spread of COVID-19.  Read more.

⚓ A man who barricaded himself inside an apartment with a rifle and allegedly threatened to kill officers surrendered peacefully after a nearly three-hour standoff Wednesday afternoon. Read more.

🎂 Rhode Map readers have sent another round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Michelle King, Jeff Walker (53), Daniel Rodriguez, Rick Fitzgerald, Lee Dooley, Seth Klaiman, Allyn Jones (58), Ric Santurri, Luis Vargas, Julie Tremaine, and Betsy Shea-Taylor.Here’s more Globe Rhode Island coverage.

Also in the Globe

⚓ New data from researchers in South Africa show that two shots of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were 85 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations in the country, where the Omicron variant is widespread. Read more.

⚓ Hundreds of National Guard troops have been activated by Governor Charlie Baker to help shore up Massachusetts’ health care system in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant tearing through the state. Read more.

⚓ Is it possible that Mac Jones has hit the rookie wall? Read more.

Our journalism relies on support from readers like you. Please help us continue our mission with a subscription to the Globe. Here’s a special deal for Rhode Island.

What’s on tap today

E-mail events to us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ Governor Dan McKee will hold a COVID-19 briefing at 2 p.m. in Woonsocket.

⚓ Tomorrow is New Year’s eve. Here’s a list of great places to celebrate. 

⚓ The South Kingstown Board of Canvassers will discuss House and Senate redistricting maps at 3:30 p.m.

⚓ The Providence Emergency Management Advisory Council meets at 1:30 p.m. Here’s the agenda.

My previous column

From a governor’s race to the collapse of Rhode Island’s health care system, here’s a look at the five biggest stories to watch in 2022. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island Commentary page.

Rhode Island Report podcast

Hear directly from the Globe Rhode Island team on our expansion, the big issues we’re covering, and our plans going forward. Listen to all of our podcasts here.

Boston Globe App

You can get alerts about Rhode Island news on the Globe’s app (iOS and Android). Just tap the gear icon, then “Edit Alert Settings,” and choose Rhode Island.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to Dan.McGowan@Globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

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