Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today made several announcements about the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Travel from New York: Today the Governor signed an executive order mandating that anyone who has traveled to New York by any form of transportation must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island. This applies to anyone who has been in New York in the past 14 days and going forward.
  • Small business support: Rhode Island small business owners can now receive 45 minutes of free tech support via teleconference or over the phone. This service has been coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce and is being staffed by volunteers from some of Rhode Island’s leading tech companies. Starting tomorrow, these experts will be available to help small business owners set up equipment to work from home, shift to online meetings and help with document management and security. Rhode Islanders can visit Commerce’s website or call 521-HELP to get started. 

The Governor also reassured Rhode Islanders that contact information collected from travelers in order to monitor quarantining will not be used for any purpose or be shared with any state or federal agency other than the Department of Health. 

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 33 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 165.

Data

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Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 165
  • Updated number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories as of 3/25 (this is an amendment to yesterday’s press release): 1,262
  • Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories as of 3/26: 1,366
  • Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 138
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 2,250

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex:

  • Females: 78
  • Males: 87

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

  • 0-19: 6
  • 20-29: 28
  • 30-39: 30
  • 40-49: 30
  • 50-59: 38
  • 60-69: 19
  • 70-79: 12
  • 80-89: 0
  • 90 and older: 2

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by city/town of residence:

  • Barrington – fewer than 5
  • Bristol – fewer than 5
  • Burrillville – fewer than 5
  • Central Falls – fewer than 5
  • Charlestown – 0
  • Coventry – fewer than 5
  • Cranston – 18
  • Cumberland – 5
  • East Greenwich – 0
  • East Providence – 9
  • Exeter – 0
  • Foster – fewer than 5
  • Glocester – 0
  • Hopkinton – fewer than 5
  • Jamestown – fewer than 5
  • Johnston – 6
  • Lincoln – fewer than 5
  • Little Compton – 0
  • Middletown – 6
  • Narragansett – fewer than 5
  • New Shoreham – 0
  • Newport – 5
  • North Kingstown – fewer than 5
  • North Providence – fewer than 5
  • North Smithfield – fewer than 5
  • Pawtucket – 7
  • Portsmouth – fewer than 5
  • Providence – 51
  • Richmond – 0
  • Scituate – fewer than 5
  • Smithfield – fewer than 5
  • South Kingstown – 7
  • Tiverton – 0
  • Warren – fewer than 5
  • Warwick – 8
  • West Greenwich – 0
  • West Warwick – fewer than 5
  • Westerly – fewer than 5
  • Woonsocket – fewer than 5

Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized:

  • 23

Data notes:

  • As the volume of cases increases, RIDOH may move to providing abbreviated data updates daily and more detailed data updates weekly.
  • The number of people in quarantine has decreased because the quarantine periods for two large groups ended. 
  • City and town numbers between 1 and 4 are listed as “fewer than five” for patient privacy reasons.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients in a city or town should not be used to draw any conclusions about relative risk in different cities and towns. All Rhode Islanders should continue to take all the COVID-19 precautions that have been shared by RIDOH.
  • Hospital laboratories and private laboratories are now testing for COVID-19. The number of positives reported above includes all positives from all laboratories for Rhode Islanders. However, the number of negative and pending test results are only for RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories. A unified data collection process for negative and pending test results is being developed. (Individual patients are being notified directly by their healthcare providers of negative test results.)

What’s Up Newp’s Notes From The Press Conference

  • Gov: 33 new coronavirus cases in Rhode Island, brings statewide total to 165. Director of Health says they will share much more data this afternoon, but 10 of these people are in their 50’s. More cases in the more populous communities in the state. “The virus is clearly here. The numbers being reported daily are NOT reflective of total number of cases actually in Rhode Island,” Director of Health says. Sites limited testing capabilities.
  • Director of Health: 23 of 165 are hospitalized, 9 in the ICU (6 of those are intubated).
  • Gov says starting tomorrow that any business can access free tech support, staffed by tech expert volunteers from some of RI’s tech companies, to help them figure out how to shift to online. Small businesses can call 521-HELP.
  • Gov. to sign executive order mandating anyone traveling to RI from New York must self-quarantine for 14 days. This includes ground travel (bus, car, train, plane). Also applies to anyone who has visited New York in the last 14 days. Effective immediately. National Guard to station at train and bus stations to enforce. Additionally Rhode Island State Police will be flagging down cars (passenger vehicles) with New York license plates as they come into the state of Rhode Island. Governor says no other police activity will be done during these stops. The Governor will likely have additional announcements in coming days regarding travel from New York.
  • Tests: Gov. says goal is by this time next week to run 1000 tests per day. Today, says it’s only about half that.
  • Director of Health says that if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, sore throat, fever, breathing issues) you must stay hom even if you have not been tested. Even if you have only mild symptoms you must self-quarantine.

What’s Up Newp’s question for the Governor today – “Many businesses and event organizers are looking for guidance, how far out do you recommend that they should be looking to reschedule or cancel their events?”

Governor says it’s premature today for me to give a date on that, but she is going to work to make it a matter of weeks not months. In part she said, that when the economy can reopen that it will be incremental. They will be looking at what parts of the economy they can open first. Says, “I can say with confidence, the last kind of businesses that can reopen are those that depend on large crowds”. Governor says that when the economy does open that their is still going to be restrictions as it relates to how many people can be crowded together. Governor also said in her response to this question that “we are a year away from a vaccine”.

Key messages for the public

  • If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.
  • Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).
  • Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)
  • Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.
  • Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.
  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.
  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH is reiterating CDC’s guidance for people older than 60 years of age:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

o    When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.

o    Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

o    Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

o    More information is available from CDC.

o    People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public. The Hotline will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)

  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.

o    Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.

o    Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

o    Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.

o    Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

o    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

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