See more of our coronavirus coverage, including community resources and personal stories.

(Updated October 30, 2020)





The Latest


  • Rhode Island health officials on Friday confirmed six more Rhode Islanders with the coronavirus have died and 152 people with the virus are currently hospitalized, including 15 patients in intensive care units and nine on ventilators. The state reported that 562 more residents tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic 32,874.


  • A federal court judge on Wednesday ordered the immediate release of an immigration detainee from the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, where 99 detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus. Judge Mary McElroy said she has “grave concerns” about Wyatt’s ability to keep detainees safe after hearing about the lack of consistent mask wearing and social distancing at the facility. During a video-conference hearing, an immigration detainee testified that some correctional officers wear their masks on their chins and detainees crowd together in line for meals. The dining hall’s tables, he said, are just an arm’s length apart. Judge McElroy ordered Dwyane Coke, who has an undisclosed medical condition, to be released on home detention with orders to quarantine for 14 days. The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit in May that has led to the conditional release of more than two-dozen immigration detainees at the facility due to the pandemic.


  • Rhode Island inspectors have temporarily shut down four bars for violating the state’s COVID-19 health regulations. The state Department of Health said Friday that inspectors found customers mingling and being served at the bars, employees not wearing masks and nars operating after the 11 p.m. closing time. The state also issued fines that ranged from $1,050 to $2,450 to Levels Lounge, LoVera V.I.P, Vibe Lounge and Hookah Bar, in Providence and  MamaJuana Restaurant in Pawtucket.


  • The Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls is working with state health officials to try to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus. As of Thursday, 63 federal detainees -- 15% of the facility’s 545 residents -- and 10 employees have tested positive for the COVID-19, according to documents filed in federal court. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s monthly surveillance testing was moved up a week, to Oct. 12, after the first case was reported on Oct. 9, Joseph Wendelken, a department spokesman, said in an email. Health officials have enlisted the Rhode Island National Guard to assist with testing at the facility.


  • Rhode Island plans to deploy 300,000 new portable, rapid tests by Thanksgiving to K-12 schools, community health centers in high-density communities and colleges and universities, Gov. Gina Raimondo said during a news briefing Wednesday.  Abbott Laboratories' new BinaxNOW tests purchased by the federal government and distributed to states can produce results in 15 minutes. The tests are only approved for use by people with symptoms of COVID-19 and administered by a health care professional. They are intended for use within the first seven days when a person becomes ill, according to Abbott.


  • Gov. Gina Raimondo and Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott are urging residents with no symptoms but who work in “high contact” jobs -- including teachers, bus drivers, restaurant workers, factory workers and members of the clergy -- to get tested for COVID-19. Free testing for asymptomatic residents is available at portal.ri.gov.


  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced that, beginning Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. Lower risk communities are defined in weekly reports from the Department of Public Health.


  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has extended the restrictions under Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan until October 28. Under Phase 3, indoor catered events are limited to 50 people and outdoor events are limited to 100 people. 


Correction: an earlier version of this report mistakenly reported the location of URI's main campus.

Maps & Figures







More detailed data is available on the RI Department of Health's COVID-19 dashboard.








In case you missed it:


  • Young adults continue to be driving the "invisible spread" of the coronavirus in Rhode Island and nationally. Rhode Island residents ages 19 to 24 comprise about 9% of the state’s population but represent 21% of the 1,209 new cases from Oct. 6 and 12, according to Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the state’s health director. 


  • Rhode Island will begin levying fines at workplaces where inspectors find employees not wearing masks. Alexander-Scott, the state’s health director, said that during the first two full weeks of October workplaces -- especially those with break rooms where people socialize -- were a common source of the virus spread. 


  • Rhode Island health officials will independently evaluate any COVID-19 vaccines prior to their public availability in the state. The state intends to spend millions of dollars in federal funds to pay for the distribution of a vaccine, once an inoculation is determined viable. Governor Gina Raimondo announced the creation of a state vaccine advisory subcommittee to help evaluate the safety of the vaccine and plan for its equitable distribution.


  • Facing a serious shortage of substitute teachers, the state education department has launched a free training program for adults with no experience in the classroom. Rhode Island districts have faced teacher vacancy and substitute shortages in the past, but the pandemic has exacerbated those issues, because of the new demands of teaching both in-person and online.
  • College students are being blamed for a spike in COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island. State health data released at a news briefing Wednesday showed that 19- to 24-year-olds make up about 9 percent of the state’s population, but they accounted for 30 percent of all new coronavirus cases in mid-September. Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the creation of a young adult task force to develop recommendations for communicating the state’s public health guidance to young people, including offering incentives, to change their behavior.

  • Bars showed an uptick in violations of social distancing rules, Raimondo said Wednesday. The number of customers observed by state inspectors as being too close to the bar recently doubled, she said, from 7% to 14%.


  • To get tested in Rhode Island: If you’re a student, teacher or school staff member, you can schedule a test by calling the PreK-12 Test Scheduling Service at 844-857-1814. If you’re not associated with a school, you can schedule a test by calling your doctor or a community health clinic. And if you don’t have any symptoms but work in a high-contact business, recently traveled to a state on Rhode Island’s quarantine list, or are between the ages of 18-39, you can schedule a test at portal.ri.gov.


  • On September 22, Rhode Island was again added to a list of states whose residents are required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


  • Children 12 years and older are now eligible for COVID-19 testing at one of 14 drive-thru testing sites in Rhode Island operated by CVS Health. (Of the 14 sites, 4 are opening on Friday.) A parent or legal guardian must complete the on-line registration at CVS.com; children ages 12 -15 must be accompanied to the test by a parent or legal guardian. Parents or guardians also are advised to consult with a pediatrician about testing options. Test results generally will be available within 2-3 days, CVS said in a statement.