Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus in Rhode Island

The latest on COVID-19 in the Ocean State, including case counts on an upward trend.

On Tuesday, July 27, the state reported no new fatalities and 105 new cases of COVID-19, with ninety-four cases from Monday and eleven cases from previous days.

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Via Rhode Island Department of Health

  • Rhode Island is in a period of “substantial transmission” of the coronavirus, per the RI Department of Health
  • Twenty-two people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with three people in the ICU and three people on ventilators
    • Eighteen of the twenty-two people hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, per Governor Dan McKee
  • Monday’s testing saw a positivity rate of 2.1 percent
  • 654,926 people are fully vaccinated in Rhode Island
  • 2,739 people have died from COVID-19 in Rhode Island since the start of the pandemic
  • 153,697 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rhode Island since the start of the pandemic



 visit back2schoolri.com for info

  • On July 13, Governor Dan McKee announced that all eleven of Rhode Island’s public and private colleges and universities are requiring students to be fully vaccinated prior to returning to campus this fall
    • Added Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott at the July 13 press conference, “The higher education community in Rhode Island should be commended for stepping up and helping to keep their students, staff and surrounding communities as safe as possible when it comes to COVID-19 by putting policies in place to get vaccination rates high.”
  • At a press conference on June 30, Governor Dan McKee and Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green announced a plan to have all students back inperson this fall, five days a week
    • Local districts are no longer required to provide a distance learning option for students
    • Families of students who are at increased risk of severe illness — including those with special health care needs — or who live with people at high risk should meet with their district and review their Health Plan, 504 Plan and/or IEP.
    • The state recommends that the districts create masking policies requiring all unvaccinated individuals to wear masks while indoors.
      • Exceptions will be made for people with disabilities or those younger than two
      • Fully vaccinated teachers and students are not required to wear masks
      • Masks are required on school buses and other public transport, per federal order
    • For age groups that are eligible for vaccination, stable pods or groups are recommended
      • Social distancing is not required between members of a stable group; at least three feet of physical distance between stable groups is recommended.
    • For age groups that are not eligible for vaccination, physical distancing of at least three feet is recommended
    • Field trips and school visitors may resume
    • Click here for the CDC’s Back to School checklist


  Visit reopeningri.com for more

  • The state has lifted all capacity restrictions on indoor dining, bar areas, houses of worship, retail settings, gyms, personal services, venues of assembly, funeral homes and offices
    • Bars may offer indoor standing service
    • Capacity is at each business’s discretion
  • The state has also lifted all restrictions on social gatherings
  • Catered events, including weddings, are no longer restricted
    • indoor and outdoor cocktail service and standing bar service at events may resume
    • Dancing may resume


  • On June 1, Governor Daniel McKee lifted the outdoor mask mandate for all Rhode Islanders, regardless of vaccination status
    • Unvaccinated Rhode Islanders are encouraged to don masks in crowded outdoor settings
  • Fully vaccinated Rhode Islanders (at least two weeks after their final dose) are no longer required to wear masks indoors
    • Unvaccinated Rhode Islanders are required to wear masks indoors, on the honor system
  • Universal masking is still in effect in schools
  • Per the CDC, Americans “will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States”
  • Individual business owners in Rhode Island may still require indoor masking
    • Most major chains in Rhode Island, including Target, Whole Foods, CVS, Walmart and Home Depot, no longer require masks for fully vaccinated customers
  • People with compromised immune systems — regardless of vaccination status — should speak with their physicians about masking


The state has opened vaccinations to all Rhode Islanders age twelve and older; visit VaccinateRI.org or call 844-930-1779 to schedule an appointment

  •  CVS, Walgreens, Stop and Shop and Walmart are also administering vaccinations, no appointment necessary
  • View and print your vaccine record here: portal.ri.gov/vaccinerecord/s


Visit portal.ri.gov to schedule a test at a state-run test site

  • The state is hosting pop-up rapid testing events (walk-up; no appointment necessary) in some community settings
  • Some CVS pharmacies in Rhode Island offer self-swab COVID-19 tests for adults eighteen and older. Click here to make an appointment.
  • Asymptomatic testing is encouraged for all Rhode Islanders; schedule a test at portal.ri.gov


  • Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports — track and field, basketball, hockey, gymnastics, swimming, football, lacrosse, karate and wrestling — may resume
    • For indoor sports, spectators are subject to capacity limitations
  • Out-of-state teams may complete in tournaments in Rhode Island
  • Read the full guidelines on youth and adult sports here


  • Vaccinated domestic and international travelers: You do not need to quarantine upon arrival
  • Unvaccinated domestic travelers: If you’re visiting or returning to Rhode Island from a state with current travel restrictions, you must quarantine for ten days or provide proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken after arrival or within seventy-two hours before arrival.
  • Unvaccinated international travelers: You must quarantine for ten days. If you have a negative COVID-19 test result at least five days into your quarantine, you may shorten it to seven days.


Rent relief options for tenants

  • Renters in arrears and/or at risk of eviction should call United Way’s 211 hotline to see if they qualify for the Safe Harbor rent relief program or visit housinghelpri.com
    • Financial services will be available for renters
    • Both landlords and tenants must agree to participate


  • Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath and lost of taste and/or smell
    • Visit the Rhode Island COVID-19 self-checker at covidselfchecker.ri.gov for guidance on making coronavirus-related health care decisions based on CDC guidelines
  • If you’re showing symptoms, call your health care provider first; if you don’t have one, contact a nearby urgent care.
  • The Crush COVID RI app, a contact tracing, location tracking and symptom management application for smartphones, is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • Call 401-222-8022 with general questions about COVID-19 or visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website for the latest information
  • Call Rhode Island’s BH Link at 401-414-5465 if you need mental health help or are struggling with substance abuse; for children, call Kids’ Link at 1-855-543-5465


Editor’s note: This story is updated frequently.