Health

Why the smallest state has a big virus challenge

In this December 9, 2020 file photo, a healthcare professional carries a COVID-19 specimen from a driver at a drive-through test site outside McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It is the smallest state in the United States for several days in December. Rhode Island was one of the worst places on earth for new cases of COVID-19 per capita. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

For several days in December, Rhode Island was one of the worst places on earth for new cases of COVID-19 per capita.

The hospital reached capacity when the proportion of new cases exceeded that of the whole country and almost doubled the proportion of adjacent Connecticut. The state’s daily COVID-19 death record set in April was broken. Faced with the exacerbation of the crisis, Governor Gina Raimondo reluctantly imposed strict business restrictions.

“I’m surprised that our grades were very poor,” said Dr. Keith Cole, an emergency physician and faculty member at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, last week. “We are all exhausted and are now discussing staffing more ICU units.”

The smallest state in the country by region has reported 1,855 pandemic deaths to date, far less than many states, but Rhode Island has the University of Rhode Island, the University of Johnson & Wales, and the University of Providence.

Like other states, Rhode Island used temporarily closed bar areas, gyms, and theaters in the spring to limit indoor dining and customer capacity for many businesses. Tighter rules were re-enacted in the first three weeks of December after the number of cases began to increase.

Explainer: Why the smallest states have major viral challenges

On December 9, 2020, Vanessa Castaneda (left) in the file photo was holding his son Joshua Chapter 3 when he swabbed COVID-19 at a drive-through test site outside McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. I will. In December, Rhode Island’s smallest state in the country was one of the worst places on earth for new cases of COVID-19 per capita. (AP Photo / David Goldman, File)

Doctors like Fine and Corl claim that the restrictions aren’t advanced enough, but many business owners have expressed concern about long-term financial damage to the state’s hospitality and tourism industry. ..

Bob Leonard is a co-owner of the Coast Guard House, a seaside restaurant in Narragansett that is popular with tourists. He said his business is working hard to comply with the restrictions and does not believe the restaurant is responsible for the recent increase in incidents.

“I see people staying at home and disappointing the guards,” he said.

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Spotted identification and wearing of mask

Residents who ignore masks and guidance on social distance also deserve some criticism, Lymond said.

The Democratic governor also points to the state’s active testing program as an explanation for the recent surge. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Rhode Island has conducted more than 2 million tests per resident. More tests mean more asymptomatic cases are identified — cases that may be overlooked in other states.

  • Explainer: Why the smallest states have major viral challenges

    On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, a passenger was infected with COVID-19 at a test site at a convention center in Providence, Rhode Island. It was one of the worst places in Rhode Island for several days in December. Planet for new cases of COVID-19 per capita. (AP Photo / David Goldman, File)

  • Explainer: Why the smallest states have major viral challenges

    In this December 1, 2020 file photo, after EMT dropped patients at a newly opened field hospital operated by Care New England to address the proliferation of COVID-19 patients in Cranston, Rhode Island. , The stretcher has been returned to the ambulance. On the days of December, Rhode Island’s smallest state in the country was one of the worst places on earth for new cases of COVID-19 per capita. (AP Photo / David Goldman)

  • Explainer: Why the smallest states have major viral challenges

    On December 14, 2020, Dr. Christian Arbelaez of Lifespan Health Care, file photo, will receive the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country for several days in December. It was one of the worst places on earth for new cases of COVID-19 per capita. (AP Photo / Elise Amendra, File)

However, the test did not fully explain the December deaths and increased hospitalizations, said Dr. Ashish Jar, Physician and Dean of the Browns School of Public Health. Mr Ja said he believes that population density and poverty are more important factors.

“The pandemic is complicated. It’s not simple and simple,” says Jha. “But we are learning a lot.”


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