Tuesday, December 08, 2020
Rhode Island, the smallest state in the United States, has earned the distinction of having the highest number of new COVID-19 infections — in the entire world.
Only four regions on Earth have more than 100/100,000 new infections per day: Rhode Island, Indiana, the Republic of Georgia, and Serbia.
Rhode Island has beaten them all, in the race to the bottom. Rhode Island is now experiencing more new COVID-19 cases than any other place — on the entire planet.
For the third day, Rhode Island continues to have the highest number of new COVID-19 infections per capita at 122.6 new cases per 100,000 population per day (compared to 116.4 in the Republic of Georgia, and 104.4 in Serbia). This increased from 110 in just one day. Rhode Island is now averaging 1,299 new cases each day.
This is well above the rate of 100 new cases per 100,000 per week previously set by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as a purportedly safe level.
Many experts, including former Rhode Island Director of Health Dr. Michael Fine, considered that benchmark too high, and thought a rate of no more than 14 new cases per 100,000 per week should be the maximum. At the current rate, Rhode Island is experiencing over 9,000 new cases per week, and growing.
New infections in Rhode Island are substantially higher than other New England states — almost 6 times higher than in Maine and Vermont, and nearly double that of Massachusetts. At 9.3% Rhode Island also has the highest positive test rate in New England.
After having similar infection rates to other New England states earlier this year, over the past three months Rhode Island has experienced a consistently greater and ever-increasing number of infections:
COVID-19 deaths are increasing in Rhode Island. 35 deaths for the three day weekend and 22 more, compared to a 7-day average of 2 in September.
Hospitalizations also continue to climb. 422 patients are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, compared to an average of about 80 in September – a more than 5-fold increase.
Massachusetts, at roughly half the number of per capita new cases, today announced implementation of greater restrictions and containment measures in an effort to control the spread of infection. California, with a state-wide average of 58.6/100,000 new infections, less than half that of Rhode Island, has enacted stay-at-home regulations affecting most of the population.
The organization covidactnow.org, comprised of researchers from the Harvard Global Health Institute, Stamford University, and Georgetown University, now predicts a total of 2.4 million infections in Rhode Island over the next 12 months. One way of looking at this could be that at the current rate of new infections, Rhode Island will reach 1.05 infections – everyone in the state – in about 5 months. This would be before vaccines are available for most of the population.
Nick Landekic a retired scientist and biotechnology executive with over 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
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