RIDOH responding to COVID-19 outbreak near Providence College

RIDOH responding to COVID-19 outbreak near Providence College

Rhode Islanders reminded about testing program for people without symptoms

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Health and Providence College are responding to an outbreak of COVID-19 among off-campus students near the school. Approximately 120 cases have been identified in the last three days, according to a press release from RIDOH.

RIDOH is reminding people who live in the area around Providence College (and all Rhode Islanders) to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their health care provider.

Additionally, all people in Rhode Island between 18 and 39 years of age who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 can get tested. People who do not have symptoms and who work in high-contact workplaces, such as bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms, and hair salons and barbershops, are also eligible to be tested. College students in the area who do not attend Providence College and employees of area businesses who regularly interact with Providence College students are strongly encouraged to be tested. (All Providence College students are already being tested.) Testing of asymptomatic people is done at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment, go to portal.ri.gov . (More information is available at the link below.)

Representatives say RIDOH is taking several measures to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area. RIDOH is doing thorough case investigations for each case, and is doing aggressive contact tracing, representatives say. RIDOH is also partnering with Providence College in its work to support students in quarantine and isolation. In addition, RIDOH has been advising the college on broader mitigation steps, such as the implementation of a temporary "stay-at-home" directive for students.

Symptoms of COVID-19:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fever or chills
• Muscle or body aches
• Sore throat
• Headache
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Runny nose or stuffy nose
• Fatigue
• Recent loss of taste or smell

Which asymptomatic people can schedule a test for COVID-19:
• High-contact workers, including but not limited to, barbers, child care workers, clergy, cosmetologists, first responders, gym and exercise trainers, health care professionals, personal care services (nail technicians, massage therapists, tattoo artists, estheticians, cosmeticians, manicurists, body piercers, and tanning facility staff), public transit drivers, and restaurant workers
• Rhode Islanders between the ages of 18 and 39
• People who recently attended a large protest or demonstration
• Additional groups: https://health.ri.gov/covid/testing/asymptomatic/

How to schedule a test for COVID-19:
• People without symptoms can schedule a test by going to portal.ri.gov.
• Testing information for people who do have symptoms is also available online at https://health.ri.gov/covid/testing/asymptomatic/ .

For more information about COVID-19 visit www.health.ri.gov/covid or call 401-222-8022.