INTRODUCTION Rio de Janeiro has hardly experienced coronavirus disease. METHODS Here, 87,442 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were reported among Rio de Janeiro residents (March to September 2020). RESULTS Overall, RT-PCR positivity of 44.6% decreased over time towards 20%. Positivity was greater among males (OR=1.22; 95%CI:1.19-1.26); Black (OR=1.10; 95%CI:1.02-1.19), Brown (OR=1.16; 95%CI:1.10-1.22), and indigenous people (OR=2.11; 95%CI:0.88-5.03) compared to Whites and increased with age; with epidemic spread from the capital to inland regions. CONCLUSIONS SARS-CoV-2 keeps spreading in Rio de Janeiro, and reopening of activities may fuel the epidemic.