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Wondering how many have “recovered” from COVID-19? Wonder how race, ethnicity, or zip code are trending among positive cases of COVID-19 and those who have died? What’s Up Newp got a little bit closer to an answer today.
Following their daily press briefing, Governor Raimondo and Director of Health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott answer approximately a dozen questions from the press. Questions are answered in the order that they are received.
Today, we were lucky enough to get a question in and asked Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, “can you clarify why the Department of Health isn’t sharing a number for “recovered” and why we haven’t seen data based on race, ethnicity, or zip code?”
Some form of the question “How many have recovered?” has been among the most popular questions that we’ve received throughout this pandemic.
In response to our question, Dr. Alexander-Scott said, “we are working towards having the number for recovered readily available. It is a calculation that has to occur, I shared earlier all of the number of people that have been discharged from the hospitals. We know the total number of cases we have. That total number has to be subtracted from people that are still in the hospital and people that have unfortunately passed away.
On Monday, it was announced that there were 10 more COVID-19 associated deaths, which brings the total to 73. The Department of Health also announced that there were 311 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,967. There are currently 197 Rhode Islanders hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Alexander-Scott continued, “The number that remains would be those who have recovered after two weeks of time. So two weeks ago when we had numbers the total was alot less than what we have now so we are waiting until we have enough numbers to be able to share that calculation on a regular basis so that it’s something that people can respond to”.
“But we know overall that’s it the total number of cases minus the people currently hospitalized and minus the people that have unfortunately passed away with that two week time period that it takes for someone to really get through an illness and recover,” Alexander-Scott continued.
In regards to race and ethnicity data; Alexander-Scott said, “The race ethnicity data is also something that we have also been working diligently on. Every state has needed to come up with creative ways to be able to compile this information and I really want to acknowledge tremendous work army’s of people are doing with our data at Department of Health and that’s the lead across state government”.
Alexander-Scott continued, “some of the preliminary race data and ethnicity data is of the cases that we’ve collected information on those are Latino, from any race, are about 10% of the cases. Those that are African American (non-Hispanic) are about 3%. Those who are Caucasian (non-Hispanic) are about 10.9% and the remaining races (non-Hispanic) are about 1.4%. A majority of the cases we are still working through creative ways to getting the race, ethnicity data but we know regardless the numbers that we are seeing nationally and what we are aware of here emphasize the importance the importance of addressing the social, economic, and environmental factors that are contributing to why you are seeing these gaps among various racial and ethnic groups, as well as other populations – low income, those that are immigrants. We need to really focus on those communities – the health equity zone’s infrastructure is one that’s designed to help us be able to that and those are they type of the strategies that we are looking to advance so that we address it regardless of what this data shows”.
You can watch Dr. Alexander-Scott answer the question at approximately 37:30.
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