PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s largest hospital group announced Monday it is suspending most visits in response to a rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.
“Due to the recent alert from the RI Department of Health on an increase in COVID-19 cases warranting extra precautions to keep patients, staff, and vulnerable residents as safe as possible, visitation at Lifespan hospitals is temporarily suspended,” hospital spokesperson Kathleen Hart said.
“We hope that our hospitals will be able to return to a higher level of visitation soon and in the meantime we are supporting virtual visits as much as possible,” Hart said.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital will allow one parent for each patient. Newport Hospital maternity services will allow for a birthing partner only. Emergency department patients will be limited to one accompanying adult, and the length of that person’s stay will be limited.
Visitors will be screened for symptoms or potential exposure to the coronavirus, and will be required to wear a mask.
Lifespan operates Rhode Island, Hasbro Children’s, Miriam, Bradley and Newport hospitals.
The latest average positivity rate in Rhode Island is 3.3%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from the COVID Tracking Project.
Rhode Island health officials reported nine new deaths and more than 1,000 new cases of the virus on Monday.
Officials also said about 170 people are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19. The state Department of Health data covers cases reported since its last update on Friday.
More than 1,200 people have died and more than 34,000 have tested positive for the virus in the state since the pandemic started.
URI FOOTBALL ON HOLD
The University of Rhode Island announced Monday that it has halted all football activities for two weeks following two positive coronavirus test results within the program.
The positives, one for a student-athlete and the other for a staff member, were reported Saturday, and all team activities were immediately halted, URI said in a statement.
Following contact tracing by the Rhode Island Department of Health, it was determined that all football student-athletes and select staff members should quarantine for two weeks.
The Football Championship Subdivision team has not played a game this fall.
The university’s overall positivity rate remains lower than 1%.
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