The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising the public that a third individual associated with the Saint Raphael Academy trip to Italy in mid-February has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Because this individual is a Massachusetts resident, RIDOH says the testing was done by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
This person was a female in her 20s. She is recovering at home. This individual is considered a presumptive positive case because the result is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to RIDOH.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is coordinating the contact tracing for this individual and communicating very closely with RIDOH.
There are now four individuals associated with the trip to Italy: a male in his 40s, a teenage girl, a female in her 30s whose test result is pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories (she is a staff member at Achievement First Academy in Providence who chaperoned on the trip), and this most recent case.
Update: RIDOH provided the following update on Tuesday evening – “For the female in her 30s (a staff member at Achievement First Academy in Providence who chaperoned on the trip to Europe), her test result was negative. This testing was done at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories”.
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RIDOH has also provided the following updates;
General COVID-19 updates
- Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket remains closed.
- CDC has confirmed the presumptive positive result obtained at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories for the man in his 40s who was announced as Rhode Island’s first presumptive positive case over the weekend.
- CDC confirmation is still pending on the second presumptive positive case (the teenage girl from Saint Raphael Academy who is recovering well).
- The result on the tests from the second adult who traveled to Italy from Saint Raphael Academy are still pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories. (This individual is a woman in her 30s who was a staff member at Achievement First Academy in Providence.) These results are anticipated this evening.
- Achievement First Academy Hartford (Providence) and Garfield (Cranston) campuses were closed today for cleaning but are expected to open tomorrow.
- Meadowbrook Farms School in East Greenwich was closed today. This was because the sibling of a student developed symptoms after recently returning from a trip abroad. However, the family member who is a student at Meadowbrook Farms School does not have symptoms. The school closed for cleaning out of an abundance of caution.
- Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 2
(One of these results has been confirmed by CDC, and one is pending CDC confirmation. These numbers do not include a Massachusetts resident who the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported as having a presumptive positive test result.)
- Number of tests pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 4
- Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 6
- Total number of people who have been tested at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 12
- Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island as a part of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 response: approximately 60 (RIDOH is sharing an approximate number because this number is subject to change regularly)
Key messages for the public
- There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Rhode Island, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19.
- People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 (or have traveled to country with community transmission, such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan).
- Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Testing can only be done on individuals who have symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms or history of travel can lead to inaccurate results.
- People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).
- People with general questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public.
- Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
- Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
- Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
- Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.