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04/17/2014 10:29 EDT
Director of Health Michael Fine, MD declared today that influenza is widespread again in Rhode Island. This declaration triggers the requirement that healthcare workers who have not been vaccinated against the flu wear surgical masks during direct patient contact. The masking requirement will stay in place until the declaration of widespread influenza has been lifted.
03/26/2014 10:50 EDT
The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) Division of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology has received reports of pertussis outbreaks at schools in multiple communities, including the Moses Brown School in Providence (5 cases), Cole Middle School in East Greenwich (7 cases), and Randall Holden Elementary School in Warwick (4 cases). The following communities are also reporting sporadic cases in school and household settings: Bristol, Central Falls, Hopkinton, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence, Providence, Smithfield, Tiverton, and Pawtucket. Letters are being sent by school authorities and activity directors to parents of students and to school staff, with advice to be vigilant for cough illness and to encourage age-appropriate vaccinations. These notices might prompt calls to area healthcare providers.

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