By JARED GUSTAFSON Although it is the state's third largest city, Warwick ranks 20th in the state with the number of COVID cases per 100,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, according to Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) data,
Although it is the state’s third largest city, Warwick ranks 20th in the state with the number of COVID cases per 100,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic.
Yet, according to Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) data, Warwick with 184 COVID deaths ranks fourth in the state.
State and New England Care officials don’t have explanations for the numbers but they offer some possibilities.
According to the RIDOH there has been 8,913 COVID cases in Warwick since March of 2020. That amounts to roughly 11 percent of the city’s population catching COVID. The RIDOH also reported 554 hospitalizations for Warwick residents, a rate of 683 per 100,000 people, or around 6 percent of all Warwick COVId-19 cases resulting in hospitalization.
Providence, Johnston, and Cranston all have more than 16,000 cases of COVID per 100,000 people. These communities also have more than 950 hospitalizations per 100,000 according to the RIDOH.
Warwick also stands out when it comes to vaccinations.
According RIDOH data 67.2 percent of the Warwick population is at least partially vaccinated and 63.5 percent are fully vaccinated whereas Providence, Cranston, and Johnston all have at least partially vaccinated rates below 64 percent and fully vaccinated rates below 60 percent.
Annmarie Beardsworth, spokesperson at Rhode Island Department of Health thinks Warwick has higher vaccination rates because of its demographics.
According to the U.S. Census 20 percent of Warwick is 65 or older and according to RIDOH 97.5 percent of people 65 or older in Warwick are at least partially vaccinated. According to the U.S. census 52.5 percent of Warwick’s population is made up of women and according to RIDOH 354,800 of women in Rhode Island are at least partially vaccinated. U.S. Census shows 91.1 percent of Warwick’s population is white and according to RIDOH 438,114 of white people in Rhode Island have been at least partially vaccinated.
Beardsworth also believes more Warwick residents are vaccinated because of easy access to clinics.
“If you haven’t been vaccinated and are able to do so, we fully encourage you to go out and get the vaccine,” she said.
A new area of concern for Warwick and Rhode Island is the new Delta variant. As of August 4th there has been 73 reported cases of the Delta variant in Rhode Island. Since this same time there has only been 22 reported cases of the Alpha variant in Rhode Island according to RIDOH.
Beardsworth said the RIDOH knows that a person with the Alpha variant will spread that variant to one to two people; while a person with the Delta variant will spread that variant to six to seven people. Beardsworth said that the Delta variant is “much more aggressive and contagious than other variants.” She said that although the RIDOH does not have specific numbers on the spread of the Delta variant in Warwick it is an area for concern for Warwick and all Rhode Island communities.
Even though Warwick has faired well against the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 has hit the majority of Rhode Island hard. Rhode Island ranks second to North Dakota in the country with 14,630 cases per 100,000 people.
Graphic from the Rhode Island Department of Health