The vaccine deployment in December 2020 signaled a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of May 2021, 40% of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated. But as vaccination rates lagged over the summer, new surges of COVID-19 came, including Delta in the summer of 2021, and now the Omicron variant, which comprises the majority of cases in the U.S.

Researchers around the world have reported that Omicron is more transmissible than Delta, making breakthrough and repeat infections more likely.

The United States as of Sep. 13 reached over 1 million COVID-19-related deaths and 95.3 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Currently, 67.6% of the population is fully vaccinated, and 48.6% of vaccinated people have received booster doses.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates in Rhode Island using data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and vaccination data from Covid Act Now. Counties are ranked by the highest infection rate per 100,000 residents within the week leading up to Sep. 12, 2022. Cumulative cases per 100,000 served as a tiebreaker.

Keep reading to see whether your county ranks among the highest COVID-19 infection rates in your state.

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Newport County, RI

– New cases per 100k in the past week: 100 (82 new cases, -13% change from previous week)
– Cumulative cases per 100k: 28,867 (23,695 total cases)
— 23.2% less cases per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Cumulative deaths per 100k: 118 (97 total deaths)
— 65.7% less deaths per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Population that is fully vaccinated: 76.8% (63,008 fully vaccinated)

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Bristol County, RI

– New cases per 100k in the past week: 122 (59 new cases, 0% change from previous week)
– Cumulative cases per 100k: 33,000 (15,998 total cases)
— 12.2% less cases per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Cumulative deaths per 100k: 373 (181 total deaths)
— 8.4% more deaths per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Population that is fully vaccinated: 80.6% (39,067 fully vaccinated)

Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Washington County, RI

– New cases per 100k in the past week: 139 (175 new cases, +11% change from previous week)
– Cumulative cases per 100k: 30,471 (38,265 total cases)
— 18.9% less cases per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Cumulative deaths per 100k: 195 (245 total deaths)
— 43.3% less deaths per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Population that is fully vaccinated: 80.4% (100,977 fully vaccinated)

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Providence County, RI

– New cases per 100k in the past week: 166 (1,058 new cases, +12% change from previous week)
– Cumulative cases per 100k: 39,242 (250,727 total cases)
— 4.4% more cases per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Cumulative deaths per 100k: 406 (2,595 total deaths)
— 18.0% more deaths per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Population that is fully vaccinated: 72.1% (460,387 fully vaccinated)

Rhode Island Attorney General // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Kent County, RI

– New cases per 100k in the past week: 185 (304 new cases, +19% change from previous week)
– Cumulative cases per 100k: 34,885 (57,314 total cases)
— 7.2% less cases per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Cumulative deaths per 100k: 318 (523 total deaths)
— 7.6% less deaths per 100k residents than Rhode Island
– Population that is fully vaccinated: 80.0% (131,361 fully vaccinated)

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.