Outdoor activities favored for school holidays amid rising COVID cases

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Schools in Rhode Island are closed this week for April vacation, and it comes as the state sees a moderate increase in COVID-19 cases.

When it comes to researching activities for children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to recommend those that take place outdoorssince the risk of exposure to the virus is much lower.

In the video above, 12 News reporter Matt Paddock met students and parents at a crowded zoo in Roger Williams Park on Monday.

Last week, the COVID-19 risk level was raised to “medium” for every Rhode Island county outside of Providence, which remained in the low-risk category. The risk level is based on the rate of new cases, hospitalizations and hospital capacity and is updated by the RI Department of Health on Fridays.

The Department of Health said Bristol, Kent, Newport and Washington counties each had a rate above 200 new cases per 100,000 population in the previous seven days. However, hospitalizations remain fairly low statewide.

As of Sunday, there were 53 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Rhode Island, including four in intensive care and four on ventilators.

The Department of Health reported 747 new positive cases between Friday and Sunday, and added 113 more to daily totals before that.

The data also shows the state has recorded just four COVID-19-related deaths in the past three weeks.

The weather, fortunately, is largely favorable for outdoor activities.

With the exception of a storm overnight Monday through Tuesday morning, the forecast calls for pleasant conditions throughout the week.