Ph: 401.466.2974 | Fax: 401-466-5476 | DIAL 911 IN AN EMERGENCY [email protected]

COVID-19 Update from the Medical Center
August 12, 2020

The Medical Center can confirm 2 additional cases of COVID-19 on Block Island.

The positive individuals were found through asymptomatic testing performed by the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT). As in all instances of a positive test, Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) completed the contact tracing process and no further group testing is necessary at this time. The contact tracing team has reached out to close contacts and will assist with testing and monitoring the health of each individual.

If RIDOH determines that you are not in a high-risk group, but you still feel that you need testing, please contact the DOH: (401) 222-8022, (after business hours dial 211).  The Medical Center will not be performing asymptomatic testing.

If you are recommended for testing by RIDOH, you are required to quarantine yourself until you receive the results and understand that a negative result does not guarantee that you will not develop symptoms. Symptoms typically appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Results are available 5-7 days after a nasal swab test.
Extensive information is available at:

BIHS is in constant communication with the RIDOH; when we become aware of additional cases we immediately coordinate our action plans.

If you feel sick, have mild symptoms or are concerned that you may have been exposed to a positive individual, you must stay at home and monitor your health. It is important to refrain from socializing; if you need anything, have deliveries left outside your door; do not go to work or run errands, and isolate from others in your household. If your symptoms worsen, you have a persistent fever of 101o, new loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms, please call the Medical Center (401) 466-2974 ext. 3 for an appointment. Appointments will be triaged based on severity of symptoms and may not happen same day.

Please call RIDOH at (401) 222-8022, (after business hours dial 211) if you suspect exposure, but do not have any symptoms and would like to discuss potential next steps. The Medical Center does not perform contact tracing, we work with the direction of the RIDOH Contact Tracing Team. More information is available at:

Even if you do not suspect that you have been exposed, now more than ever, it is important to follow the CDC guidance to minimize the spread and to keep a contact journal. Always wear a face covering in public, social distance (6 feet) from others, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, and monitor your health. Please remember that there is no direct treatment for COVID-19. The best treatment is to isolate and monitor your health.

The Crush COVID RI app is available from the RIDOH for free and includes a symptom tracker as well as the latest information regarding COVID-19 in RI.


Beginning on July 14, RIDOH dispatched DMAT to Block Island to test asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19. Testing is prioritized for high-contact individuals such as service industry employees and those who live in communal housing. During the first week of testing, the appointment slots were filled; since then, there have been open appointment slots.

Again, If you are asymptomatic and feel you need to be tested, please schedule the test at  Tests can be scheduled up to 5 days in advance and scheduling closes the day before the test date at 3 PM.

The DMAT team will be here on Tuesdays and Thursdays administering tests at the Block Island Fire and Rescue Barn, 10 Beach Avenue for asymptomatic patients ONLY. If you have any symptoms, call the medical center to schedule a test (401) 466-2974 ext. 3.

  • Sign up for asymptomatic testing must be done online at the RIDOH portal.
    The registration process takes about 10 minutes. If you have insurance, please have your plan name, ID number and subscriber information available. 
    There is no charge for the test. 

Portal FAQ:

  • How far in advance can I schedule a test?
    The schedule is available 5 days before the test date; if you want a test on Tuesday, July 28, the schedule opened on July 23rd. The schedule for Thursday, July 30, will open on Saturday, July 25th, and so on.
  • What do I do if can’t find Dr. Warcup or Block Island Medical Center listed as my primary care physician?
    Leave the box blank. You will be able to move to the next page.
  • Why do I get the message ‘ineligible for testing through this self-scheduling website’?
    If you have symptoms or have been asked by a healthcare professional to get tested, asymptomatic testing is not available to you and you must schedule a test with your doctor or the medical center. More information is available at:
  • When will I get my results?
    Test results take 5 to 7 days
  • Do I have to quarantine while I wait for results?
    If you are asymptomatic and do not suspect exposure, or if you are self-electing to be tested, you do not need to quarantine. You should follow the guidance to prevent spread: wear a mask in public, social distance, wash hands frequently, monitor your health.
    Anyone with symptoms or waiting for test results should quarantine for 14 days or until cleared by RIDOH or their primary care provider.
  • Can I get a test without an appointment?
    Walk-up appointments are
    not available at the Medical Center or at the RIDOH site.
  • What if I don’t see any appointment slots?
    The date you have chosen is unavailable or the schedule is full for that day.

The Medical Center will continue to post public health updates as new information becomes available.  Follow the guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask in public
  • Social Distance (6 feet or more)
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching the face
  • Monitor your health

We are all in this together, if you have questions or need assistance, please call the Medical Center and we will facilitate the best action plan. In addition to the pandemic, we are all faced with other anxiety provoking situations every day. The recent fatal car accident has affected the community deeply; please reach out to the Medical Center for assistance connecting to a mental health professional at any time, for any reason. Your health and wellbeing is important to you and important to us!

RI’s Department of Health  has information on additional services to help during this crisis.

Mental and Behavioral Health Resources 24/7 Crisis Lines

  • BH Link Tel: 401-414-5465 • Location: People can also introduce in person to 975 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI 02914
  • Kids’ Link RI (specifically for children and adolescents) • Tel: 1-855-543-5465
  • Disaster Helpline • Tel: 1-800-985-5990
  • Community Care Alliance • Tel: 401-235-7120
  • Gateway Healthcare • Tel: 401-723-1915 or 401-553-1031
  • Newport County Mental Health Center • Tel: 401-846-1213
  • The Providence Center • Tel: 401-274-7111
  • Thrive Behavioral Health • Tel: 401-738-4300
  • Safe call now (for first responders and their families) • Tel: 1-206-459-3020 24/7

Lines of text

  • TalkWithUs Text at 66746
  • Send CONNECT text to 741741
  • BLUE Text to 741741 (law enforcement only) 24/7

Suicide prevention lines

  • National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255