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Hello to everyone from Dr. Warcup at the Block Island Medical Center:

Rhode Island is doing relatively well as a State, with just under 18,000 positive cases and 987 deaths, however there has been a recent uptick in cases.  RI’s 7-day average number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients is 55.  This represents a slight increase in our average and is the highest point since June 19. Last Saturday there were 78 individuals admitted to RI hospitals, our highest single day admission rate since June 12.

Rhode Island has an overall 2% positive rate based on individuals tested, but the 20-30 year old age group has a greater than 7% positive rate.  We are working as a community to help target those individuals for mask education and guidance at our various points of entry on the island.  Please help us by being good examples of mask wearing when in the community.

In regards to testing, there is and will be a greater delay in testing availability for the foreseeable future. 31 states are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, primarily in the Midwest and the South, and testing resources are redirected to those areas.  

We are fortunate to have the Department of Health on the island 2 days per week to conduct asymptomatic testing. They are testing approximately 24 people/day.  Please remember you must sign up for testing on the RIDOH portal, the Crush COVID-19 app or through links at the Block Island Health Services website.

Please be patient. We appreciate that it’s an imperfect system and testing is likely to take 7 days to result. If you are concerned, please consider quarantining for 14 days and monitoring your health.  We appreciate the personal and group anxiety regarding COVID-19 exposure, but it’s important to remember there is no mainstream treatment. If you feel like you have been exposed or may have COVID-19 without symptoms, please quarantine, testing does not add to the treatment strategy. The Medical Center uses the same national laboratories as other health care facilities and is subject to the same 5 to 7-day turnaround time. 

The Medical Center is here to assist those that feel that they have symptoms associated with COVID-19, but please remember, you must quarantine if you are symptomatic and require testing.  

Due to all the hard work and effort by those in our local government; fire/EMS/and police personnel, Block Island has an extremely low number of asymptomatic COVID-19 positive cases.  Let’s continue to be smart and safe in the community and educate others where you think it’s appropriate.  We will get through this together.

Thank you and we will update you again soon.