By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Cases are up for the second day, 374 Thursday, with 15 deaths. That brings the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island to 8,621, with 266 total deaths. The number of completed tests, however, was also up, to 3,545, more than 1,000 more than the day previous, and 1,700 more than two days ago. So far, Rhode Island has done 63,710 tests.

Due to a change in the reporting process, there was a jump in the number of hospitalizations Thursday, to 339 from 269 on Wednesday. 

“The original reporting system we were using was developed when our count of hospitalized cases was in the single digits,” explained Joseph Wendelken, spokesman for the state Dept. of Health. “It was based on communication with infectious disease doctors in the state, and on reviews of medical charts. This worked at the time, but became less and less efficient. Since then the case count has gotten much larger, and the hospitalization numbers have increased. For example, hospitals are now screening many patients. We needed to systematize the reporting process more. What we are now getting is reports based on lab confirmation of COVID-19, regardless of where the person is in the hospital system.”

The numbers for patients in the ICU (85) and on ventilators (54), unlike the hospitalization number, remained in line with figures from recent days. As of Thursday, 461 people had been discharged from the hospital. 

The number of East Greenwich confirmed cases was 43 on Thursday, up from 38 Wednesday. 

Also on Thursday, the Dept. of Health released its Crisis Standards of Care protocol. That’s the worst-case notebook doctors in Italy needed. And doctors in Brooklyn came perilously close to needing: what to do if you have more patients than tools/people/beds to help them. It’s pages long, but the crucial sentence is this one:

Re-Allocate – If no alternative, remove a resource from one area/patient and allocate to another who has a higher likelihood of benefit.

Rhode Island doctors so far have been spared from having to refer to this instruction. Find the document HERE.


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