Rhode Island added to other state's travel advisory lists

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island was added Tuesday back to the list of states whose residents are required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Those three states add states to their travel advisory lists if new daily cases hit 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day average, or if a state has a 10% test positivity rate. Rhode Island had been added to the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut travel advisory list in August, but was taken off a week later.

Rhode Island was added because the total number of new cases is on the rise, which is a result of the state's aggressive virus testing, according to a statement from a spokesperson for the state Department of Health.

“Rhode Island is doing more testing than any other state in country,” Joseph Wendelken said. “We are the only state with a dedicated, centralized K-12 testing system, and we have a very high proportion of college students in Rhode Island, almost all of whom are being tested. Our aggressive testing strategy is key to our overall response as it allows us to quickly quarantine exposed individuals and prevent further transmission, but it does also result in comparatively higher incidence rates."

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UPDATED STATISTICS

The Rhode Island Department of Health reported 92 confirmed coronavirus cases and two more deaths on Tuesday.

The state has now had more than 24,000 confirmed cases and 1,099 deaths. The national death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The state had 82 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, according to the latest data, with 10 in intensive care.

Rhode Island's positivity rate remains low, even though it has been rising. The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Rhode Island has risen over the past two weeks from 1.1% on Sept. 7 to nearly 1.5% on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins.

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URI CASES

Two sororities and a fraternity at the University of Rhode Island are under quarantine after members tested positive for the coronavirus, a school spokesperson says.

Three students at a sorority are in isolation after testing positive and the other members are being quarantined for 14 days, Linda Acciardo told The Providence Journal on Monday.

Last week, URI identified two positive cases at another sorority and one positive case in a fraternity. Those students are also in isolation, with other residents of the houses in quarantine.

URI is conducting contact tracing and working with the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The school had 56 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past week, according to school statistics posted online.

Providence College is dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus that has struck more than 150 students, and prompted the school to move to remote-only learning.