McKee signs executive order to grow community involvement in vaccine rollout; RIDOH releases new COVID-19 data

"Vaccines are how we get Rhode Islanders back to work, it’s how we get our schools reopened and our small businesses back in business," McKee said on Wednesday.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee signed an executive order on Wednesday to reduce vaccine hesitancy and engage local communities in the state’s vaccination effort.

The executive order directs the Rhode Island Department of Health “to engage communities in the state’s vaccination efforts and reduce vaccine hesitancy.”

Additionally, the order will direct RIDOH to update its state and local level outreach plan to reduce hesitancy for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccines are how we get Rhode Islanders back to work, it’s how we get our schools reopened and our small businesses back in business,” McKee said on Wednesday.

“As as state, we must do everything we can to overcome vaccine hesitancy and build trust with Rhode Islanders of every background from every community. That’s why my administration is committed to engaging all 39 cities and towns to spread the word that these vaccines are safe and will save lives.”

McKee started his first day as governor on a Zoom call with his administration and staff, but spent most of his time in the south side of the Capital city.

Mckee visited a vaccination clinic at the John Hope Settlement house as well as a small business on Broad Street to encourage business owners to apply for PPP loans.

The new governor also stopped by a church to meet with leaders on the subject of vaccine hesitancy.

“We are concerned that at some point in time we are going to have more vaccine than people actually being willing to take the vaccine, take the shot. So that’s the purpose of this executive order,” McKee stated.
“We really need to follow protocols over the next few weeks. We have a variant that could potentially disrupt our recovery and we need to play close attention and follow the protocols so that when daylight savings time comes, we’ve got past that potential problem and move on to open up the state of Rhode Island.”

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said spoke to those in attendance and said the extra supply of doses coming to Rhode Island will help in the state’s vaccination efforts for teachers and other front line workers, as well as those in eligible age groups.

The Department of Health released the latest COVID-19 data on Wednesday.

Health officials said there have been 376 new cases of the coronavirus since Tuesday.

Out of the 17,396 COVID-19 tests administered on Tuesday, RIDOH reported a positivity rate of 2.2%.

Nine more Rhode Islanders have died, totaling the state’s number of fatalities to 2,534.

There are currently 147 Rhode Islanders hospitalized, 23 are in the ICU and 14 are on a ventilator.

There have been 199,984 Rhode Islanders who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RIDOH reported 79,728 residents have been fully vaccinated.

McKee is set to wrap up his first day as governor at the vaccination clinic being held at North Providence High School.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island