standing Rhode Island State House

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is opening a new all-weather COVID-19 testing site to boost testing capacity and replace two sites that are scheduled to close, according to the state Department of Health.

The new drive-thru testing site at the Rhode Island Convention Center's parking garage in Providence opening Tuesday will allow testing even during inclement weather.

The new site is replacing a testing facility at Rhode Island College slated to close Monday and a site at the Community College of Rhode Island that will be phased out in the near future.

The convention center site will offer tests seven days a week by appointment only for people with symptoms, or for asymptomatic people who work in high-contact professions.

It will be able to administer 1,500 tests per day, while the RIC and CCRI sites were equipped to handle about 600 tests a day each, according to a statement from the department.



The Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday announced there have been 180 new confirmed cases of the disease in the state in the past three days and five new coronavirus-related deaths.

The five additional fatalities bring the state's death toll from the disease to 995.

There have now been more than 17,900 confirmed cases.

The agency does not provide updates on weekends.

The number of people in the state's hospitals with the disease, according to the latest department figures available, is down to 61 from 68 the previous day, with just two of those patients in intensive care.

There were 13 new hospitalizations on Friday, an unusually high single-day total.

Health Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken tells WPRI-TV that the agency is looking more closely into that number.

“Many of them were very brief hospitalizations,” Wendelken said, adding that most were discharged the following day. “But we are looking at the cases more closely to see if there are any trends there.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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