Expert weighs in on Rhode Island having most COVID cases per capita in U.S.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island leads the nation with the most COVID cases per capita, according to latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on that data, Rhode Island averaged about 110 daily cases of COVID per 100,000 people in the past week.

Dr. Jim McDonald, the state’s Department of Health medical director, said there are a few reasons why:

  • Rhode Island ranks #1 for testing per capita, so naturally there would be more reported cases.
  • Rhode Island ranks #2 for population density.

“So, a lot of us, we live here, but we live close together,” Dr. McDonald said. “When the virus gets in your home, it really does spread easily throughout your home.”

According to Dr. McDonald, a lot of people are catching the virus when they get together with people outside their homes, which is the purpose for the pause.

“If we’re saying don’t interact with people outside your household, what that means is don’t interact with people who don’t live in the same home you do,” Dr. McDonald said.

He said everyone inside those homes should also wear a mask and take precautions, if someone in the household is sick.

“I think [what] we have to think about is I’m not sure the state needs more rules. I think we need to look at ‘how do I function within those rules, so I’m not spreading it?’”

Dr. McDonald also encourages everyone to get a flu vaccine for their own health, for the general public’s health, and to help alleviate the overcrowding right now in hospitals.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island