Weekend Recap: Hospital Capacity, Upgraded Testing Portal, and the Vaccine

 Weekend Recap: Hospital Capacity, Upgraded Testing Portal, and the Vaccine
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Cases are rising drastically, and it’s more important than ever that we all stay informed. Please, stay home except for essential activities, and wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with. Together, we can turn our case numbers around.

If you know someone who needs a way to stay up-to-date on the latest measures Rhode Island is taking to stop the spread of COVID-19, please encourage them to sign up for these emails through this link: lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/eYMG9tf. The better we all stay informed, the better we’ll be able to keep ourselves, our families, and our friends safe from COVID-19.

Our emergency rooms are being pushed to their limits, and the pain and suffering in our hospitals and our communities is significant. Our case numbers and hospitalizations are skyrocketing, and our hospitals are near their capacity.

It’s impossible to overstate the enormous strain this puts on the brave first responders working in our hospitals. Our healthcare workers are not immune to the virus. Many of them have been working nonstop for months, they’re tired, and they and their families are bound by the same requirements as everyone else to isolate and quarantine when necessary. Please, think of these nurses and doctors who are putting their health and wellbeing on the line every day before you decide to go to a large social gathering or take your mask off around people you don’t live with.

We’ve been working to make testing as accessible as possible, bringing it into communities, in local health clinics, in doctor’s offices, and in public buildings. But there hasn’t been one clear process for getting your results. Now, we’ve changed that. To make getting your test results easier, we’ve made it possible for all Rhode Islanders to get your results from a single place, no matter how you scheduled your test.

Right now, Rhode Islanders can access test results by going to portal.ri.gov/results. It doesn’t matter if you scheduled through the state’s portal, if you went through the K-12 system, or if you were tested at a doctor’s office. When you log in, you will go through a two-factor authentication using the phone number or email you provided at the time of your test. Remember, if your results come back positive, immediately isolate yourself and reach out to your close contacts. Don’t wait for a call from the Department of Health to begin this process.

We got a glimmer of good news this week when the Pfizer vaccine trial’s initial results showed 90% effectiveness. We’re not there yet, but we’re hoping to have the vaccine in Rhode Island for some limited, higher-risk groups before the end of the year, with the vaccine becoming more widely available during the first few months of 2021.

We’ll hold this vaccine to the same standards as any other, and our COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee will do an extra layer of review, on top of all the safety reviews that will be done on the national level.

“I hope you find this recap informative. Please, remember your three W’s: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Together, we can stop the rising case numbers and save lives if we just band together now and follow the rules.” said the Governor Raimondo.

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