Covid update: 8 new cases
Dr. Tom Warcup, Director of the Block Island Medical Center, presented the Town Council with the latest news on the Covid front on Monday night. The good news is that 75 percent of Rhode Islanders are fully vaccinated, with 1149 Block Islanders having been fully vaccinated. Since the vaccines have become available for children, over 88 percent of Block Island kids age five and over have received the vaccine.
Cases continue to rise, however, with the state of Rhode Island exhibiting a positivity rate of 4.9 percent, up from 1.7 percent in October. As for variants, the Delta variant is accounting for over half of all cases in Rhode Island, with no Omicron variant detected in the state as of Monday.
On Block Island, Warcup reports 111 cases total since March of 2020, but eight of them are new since last week, with Warcup reporting that one of the cases had just come into the office that day. The doctor stressed that vaccines are effective against the virus, leading to extremely reduced symptoms and lethality. “Vaccinations work,” Warcup said.
First Warden Andre Boudreau asked if the eight new cases were breakthrough cases, meaning the patient was vaccinated prior to infection. Warcup said almost all were breakthrough cases, and that only one had symptoms. “Breakthrough cases after vaccination remain low at 2.06 percent, up from 1.57 percent,” Dr. Warcup’s report read.
The Rhode Island Department of Health will be on-island on December 29 for a vaccination clinic, with spots available for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, with designated sign in for the Pfizer vaccine by age group, including children five to 12 years old. The sign up is available at www.vaccinateri.org.
Dr. Warcup informed the council that eventually the Medical Center would probably be taking over the administration of vaccines, once the demand was reduced. He explained that the state was still coming out due to the “surge” in Rhode Island.
Councilor Mark Emmanuelle asked if the Medical Center was informed about a person’s vaccination status if the vaccine was administered off-island.
“They are getting better,” Warcup said, but advised everyone to “self-advocate for them to tell us.” He said the Medical Center would find out and be able to update their records. He ended his report by telling the council that of the cases on-island he had seen, most patients had a good support system to help them through the difficult time of quarantine, with shopping and food pickup and delivery.