R.I. Department of Health gives update on Covid-19 response
With the state in a precarious position, the DOH director announced the use of a new monoclonal antibody treatment available in the state.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Department of Health is seeing a slight uptick in the Covid-19 positivity rate since the holidays, but say they don’t quite have the whole picture yet.
“We know that there is a lag between when cases, then when hospitalizations, and unfortunately when deaths occur,” said Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
Hospitalizations are down by about 25 percent. Still, about 51 people are being admitted everyday.
“Our hospitalizations are still far too high,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott. “It’s a testament to how severe this situation is that having 51 new hospitalizations a day due to covid-19, can be categorized as good news.”
With the state in a precarious position, the director announced Friday the use of a new monoclonal antibody treatment made available by the federal government, for Rhode Islanders to begin getting immediately.
Dr. Alexander-Scott says it’s extremely effective at preventing severe disease.
“That means there’s a way to provide actively, some of the immune response to Covid-19 directly to individuals,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott.
In addition, the department has also started a new contact tracing program that allows those who test positive to immediately enter the information of their close contacts online, so the health department can get in touch with everyone more quickly, instead of playing phone tag.
“As we’ve said before, every minute counts with this virus. The sooner we can get people into quarantine, the sooner we can slow the spread,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott.
The doctor also detailed how she kept her family safe while she had the virus. She says it came down to wearing masks, distancing, and testing.
“And I was grateful to know that with regular testing, I was able to identify whether or not Covid-19 was present, and do what I needed to do to protect my young son and baby,” she said.
Health department officials also noted that they saw six more cases of the Multiple Inflammatory Syndrome in Children in December, which they believe stems from Covid-19. There had only been one case of that in the state beforehand. Fortunately, all have recovered.