Coronavirus cases falling in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Coronavirus cases across 31 states in the country are beginning to fall or plateau, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Health experts believe the U.S. could be on the verge of a turning point after several grueling weeks fueled by the Omicron variant.
“We’re heading in a good direction, and hopefully, it moves along quickly,” Dr. Jim McDonald with RIDOH said. “These are trends that are heading in the right direction, and I think this speaks to a couple of things. One is, we’re running out of people to get infected.”
In the Ocean State, cases have been chopped in half over the last 10 days. Dr. McDonald says cases per 100,000 people have dropped from about 3,400 weekly to 1,600.
In schools, the data shows cases are finally slowing down. And it’s not just cases, but hospitalizations are feeling relief, too.
“The hospitalization numbers encourage me, too,” Dr. McDonald said. “We still have a lot of people in the hospital, but it’s about 100 less per day than we did a week ago.”
It’s a trend reflected nationwide. In Massachusetts, a 7-day average of cases peaked on January 10th at over 22,000 cases. Today, that number is down to just over 8,000.
“We have falling cases. We have plateauing hospitalizations. We have 50% of our hospitalizations not being treated for severe COVID-19,” Dr. Shira Doron, hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert says the U.S. could get a break from COVID in the coming weeks barring any sudden new variants.
“There are still some states in the southern states and western states that continue to go up, but if the pattern follows the trend that we’re seeing in other places such as the northeast, I believe that you will start to see a turnaround throughout the entire country,” Dr. Fauci said.
While the news is positive, Dr. McDonald says there’s still reason for caution. About 150,000 Rhode Islanders haven’t had the vaccine or COVID yet and remain at risk.
“The number of people who have gotten the booster is only at 34% in the state. And 34% just isn’t going to cut it,” Dr. McDonald said.