PROVIDENCE (AP) — Rhode Island reported more than 700 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday as numbers continue to rise across the nation.
The state's Department of Health also reported four additional deaths to COVID-19 on Friday to bring the state's total to 1,254.
Hospitalizations are at their highest level since May, and Gov. Gina Raimondo has warned residents that the worsening crisis could soon overwhelm area hospitals and force officials to enact tougher restrictions on businesses and activities.
Raimondo. a Democrat, blamed the virus’ spread on people flouting the rules and continuing to have indoor gatherings with family and friends.
Under new rules Raimondo announced last week, masks are required whenever people are with others they don’t live with, even when outdoors. Restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses must end in-person service at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. weekends.
The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Rhode Island has risen over the past two weeks from 3.02% on Oct. 28 to 4.81% on Nov. 11.
State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Rhode Island the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test encounters using data from The COVID Tracking Project.