‘I really hoped that we were not ever gonna see that mark’: RI surpasses 100k coronavirus cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, more than 100,000 Rhode Islanders have tested positive for coronavirus.

“I really hoped that we were not ever gonna see that mark. I was really excited in the summer like everybody else was to see the numbers sort of go down,” said Bradley Collins, MD, a hospitalist at The Miriam Hospital in Providence.

Dr. Collins said, judging by what he’s seen in his hospital the last few weeks, it seems people did not follow state guidelines during the holidays.

“We saw people gather. As much as I wish we didn’t, and I know how hard that it can be to give up these traditions that are so important to people’s families, we saw that numbers went down with the pause. We saw that staying at home, social distancing, and masks worked. And I think this is just a testament that people sort of went away from that.”

Now that there are vaccines, Dr. Collins is hopeful. He received his second dose recently. But he fears it’s causing people to let their guard down.

“We hear these bits of good news so it’s natural to just say, fine, it’s over, I can relax a little bit. But that does make me scared,” Dr. Collins said. “I think that there’s a huge amount of optimism with this vaccine. I think that I’ve finally started to breathe a little bit more easily knowing that there’s an end in sight. Unfortunately, that end in sight is not in the next week or two, that end is in a few months.”

Dr. Jim McDonald from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) said, while positive cases are up following the holidays, it’s too soon to tell how that impacted hospitalizations.

“I haven’t seen as much of an uptick as I’ve seen over past holidays, but we still won’t see the full impact of hospitalizations until the end of this week and early next week.”

He said prevention is crucial now more than ever, to get us through the next few months.

“Prevention means, protect your household, do what you need to do with the masks, keep six feet apart from people,” said Dr. Mcdonald. “I think for my fellow Rhode Islanders, it’s really about, we’ve gotta finish the marathon, we gotta finish strong.”

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Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island