Governor Dan McKee issued the following statement marking the 3,000th Rhode Island death from COVID-19.

“Today, Rhode Island is witnessing a heartbreaking milestone in the State’s ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: 3,000 Rhode Islanders have lost their lives due to this virus.

We’ve lost 3,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandparents, friends, and neighbors who will be missed – especially during this holiday season. In our small, tight-knit community of Rhode Islanders, this is a moment that we will not forget and one that we hope will be a call to action to save countless more lives as we continue through this pandemic. I am calling on you, Rhode Island, to roll up your sleeves for your fellow Rhode Islanders. If you are not yet vaccinated, please get your shot. If you are vaccinated, please get a booster.

The time is now. And in this fight, every second counts. Don’t take an unnecessary risk – get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear a mask inside public places.

Let us remember those who have left us, pray for their families, and reflect on what we can do to help protect someone else. It is the most selfless act that you can do this holiday season.”

Governor McKee also directed Rhode Island flags to be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and buildings. The flags will remain at half-staff until sunset on December 22, 2021 as a mark of respect for the 3,000 lives lost.

The State House will be lit blue and gold tonight in memory of those who have passed away due to COVID-19.

McKee also asks Rhode Islanders to lower their flags as a sign of respect.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).