Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provided the following update on Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts via email on Friday.

As of this afternoon, 658,418 people have received one dose of vaccine and 564,011 people are now fully vaccinated. See the data.

We continue to be among the top-performing states for vaccination. In Rhode Island, 73% of all adults age 18 or older have gotten at least one shot.

More than 50% of most age groups have also gotten at least one dose, including 93% of Rhode Islanders age 65 or older. And 34% of the most recent eligible group, adolescents age 12-15, have gotten their first shot.

We continue to see trends improve because Rhode Islanders are doing their part and getting vaccinated. But we need to continue to be vigilant. COVID-19 and its variants are still here. Please continue to encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to get vaccinated!

Fourth of July Goals

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that June will be a month of action to encourage people to get vaccinated by July 4.

Rhode Island is one of the 12 states that has surpassed the president’s goal of getting 70% of the eligible population at least one dose of vaccine by July 4.

However, we need to focus on the next milestone—ensuring that we have a great fall and winter, too. Rhode Islanders age 12 or older who have not yet gotten vaccinated will need to get vaccinated by July 4 to make sure they are fully vaccinated and protected to enjoy fall activities, too.

We know that some colleges are requiring students to get vaccinated before returning for the fall semester. Anyone who is headed to college for the fall semester will need to get a first dose by July 4.

Last summer, we saw a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, and then they increased again as the weather turned colder and people moved back indoors. We expect the same pattern this year.

Drive-Through Vaccination Clinic

The town of Smithfield and Fidelity Investments will host the State’s first public drive-through vaccination clinic on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Fidelity Investments parking garage, 100 Salem St., Smithfield.

You can sign up online at vaccinateri.org or drive up without an appointment. Only those arriving by vehicle will be accepted at this clinic, so please plan accordingly.

Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics

For those of you who are waiting to see whether to get vaccinated or haven’t had the time to do so yet, we want to bring the vaccinations to where you are and make your experience easy and convenient.

As a reminder, with an appointment and a 15-minute observation time, the whole process to get vaccinated should take just 25 minutes.

We will hold pop-up clinics soon at Roger Williams Park Zoo and the Hope Street Farmers Market in Providence, the Newport Gulls baseball team opening night in Newport, and at Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett.

State-run Vaccination Sites

State-run vaccination clinics were set up in central locations to help get as many Rhode Islanders vaccinated as quickly as possible. Now, more local clinics are able to administer these vaccines.

With more vaccine clinics meeting people where they are, we are working to close State-run vaccination sites. The Middletown and Dunkin’ Donuts Center sites will close on June 26.

People who got their first dose at one of these sites will be able to book a second dose appointment at a nearby location.

We continue to make every effort to make vaccines as accessible as possible. There are still many places to get vaccinated, such as pharmacies, schools, and community-based clinics.

To find vaccine clinics close to you, visit C19VaccineRI.org and use our Vaccine Site Locator. If you need help making an appointment, call 844-930-1779.

Homebound Vaccination Opportunities

If you are age 50 or older and are not able to leave your home, we can plan to come to you. You can schedule a time for one of our three partner agencies to come give you a COVID-19 vaccine in your home.

Each of the partners covers certain cities and towns. To find out who you can call or email to schedule an appointment, visit RIDOH’s website at C19VaccineRI.org or call 401-222-8022.

Primary Care Provider Invitation

We want to invite all primary care providers to be a part of our statewide COVID-19 vaccination team.

With a little bit of training and onboarding, you can offer COVID-19 vaccinations to your patients in your office from familiar staff—just like you would with flu shots or other routine immunizations.

RIDOH is working through a list of all practices enrolled in the Rhode Island State-Supplied Vaccine (SSV) program. Practices will be contacted directly to determine interest and begin the process of onboarding. Practices do not need to contact RIDOH unless they are being engaged through the survey follow-up.

New Mask Guidance

On Tuesday, we announced new masking guidance aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation regarding summer camps.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated people of all ages are not required to wear masks outdoors, including in school settings (recess, graduation, and prom included). That means that masks will also not be required outdoors at camps this summer.

Different organizations or camps may choose to require masks outside, but that is up to them.

Indoor masking requirements for those who are unvaccinated remain unchanged. If you are unvaccinated, it is safer to wear a mask indoors.

Although fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outside, there are certain places where you are still required to wear a mask.

Masks are required in healthcare settings like doctors’ offices, home-based healthcare, and nursing homes; in a business that requires them; indoors in schools and child care; on public transportation; on paid ground transportation services; in transportation hubs like airports and stations; in enclosed and semi-enclosed transit stops and waiting areas; in correctional facilities; in homeless shelters; and in other states or regions requiring masking.

If you are not fully vaccinated, we still recommend that you wear a mask if you are outdoors in a crowded area and cannot stay six feet apart.

Please continue to be patient with each other as every person, family, and organization makes decisions about when it is right for them to mask.

How to Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine Record

The best record you have of your vaccination is the card you get when you get your shot. Please keep this card in a safe place, make a copy, and even take a picture of it with your cell phone.

If you misplaced your card and want proof of your vaccination status, you can get a copy through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need help, you can email RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022 or 844-930-1779. You can also call your primary care physician to check your vaccine record.

How to Host Your Own Community Vaccination Clinic

Help us vaccinate more Rhode Islanders! If you are interested in hosting your own vaccination event for the community, please fill out this form.

RIDOH will review your request and reach out in 3-5 business days.

Please note that completing the form does not guarantee that a vaccination event will be scheduled. Events depend on vaccination supply and staff capacity. 

In this video, a member of RIDOH’s COVID-19 Unit talks about Rhode Island’s Vaccine Site Locator, a quick and easy way to find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine or get answers to frequently asked questions, visit C19vaccineRI.org or call 401-222-8022.

Additional Resources 

We will continue to share regular updates as more information becomes available. You can find updates on vaccination planning and answers to frequently asked questions on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.  

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.