PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Three community coronavirus vaccination locations in Rhode Island are rescheduling appointments because harsh winter weather in some areas of the country delayed the delivery of more than 12,000 doses to the state, health officials say.

Because the shipment of approximately 12,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine did not arrive in Rhode Island as scheduled on Monday, clinics at the Cranston Senior Center, the Swift Community Center in East Greenwich, and the West Warwick Civic Center are rescheduling Tuesday appointments, the state Department of Health said in a statement.

People who had appointments Tuesday will be contacted directly by clinic organizers.

The shipping delay could also result in the postponement of appointments scheduled for Wednesday, the agency said.

The agency also said it would release new vaccination appointments for state-run sites at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters in Cranston on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

The state on Monday started accepting appointments for residents age 65 and older.

Almost 148,000 people in Rhode Island have received a vaccine first dose, while nearly 63,000 have been fully vaccinated, according to health department statistics released Tuesday.

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JHA OPTIMISTIC

The continued nationwide rollout of coronavirus vaccines as well as a reduction in the number of hospitalizations gives pandemic expert Dr. Ashish Jha reason for optimism.

“We have been seeing cases drop in the last six weeks and we’ve been waiting for the death numbers to start coming down — and the numbers got below 2,000 daily deaths average over the weekend and they are dropping faster than I expected,” the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health said Tuesday during the weekly taping of the national “COVID: What Comes Next” podcast hosted by The Providence Journal.

When hospitals are not slammed with patients, they have more time to focus on patient care, he said.

“I see a lot of optimism for the next two months, three months and definitely longer, too,” he said.

Jha also approved of President Joe Biden administration's pandemic management, although he said it has at times been too pessimistic.

“I think they’ve been too negative about the long term. I hear ‘life will go back to normal by Christmas’ – but life will be way better well before,” he said.

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DAILY VIRUS NUMBERS

The Rhode Island Department of Health on Tuesday reported 292 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 more deaths.

The state has now had more then 124,000 known cases and 2,476 fatalities.

The number of people in the hospital with the disease as of Sunday, the latest day for which the information was available, was 186, up slightly from the previous day.

The latest seven-day average positivity rate in Rhode Island is 1.98%. 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.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Rhode Island has declined from almost 450 on Feb. 8 to about 313 on Feb. 22, according to the tracking project.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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