Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH provided updates to reporters about Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response on Tuesday, March 24th.
Updates As They Happen (refresh page for the latest updates);
- 18 new cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island. Brings total to 124 positive cases in Rhode Island.
- Governor will sign executive order to move Presidential Preference Primary from April 28th to June 2nd. Election will be primarily mail ballot, she says.
- Governor says Rhode Island is the first state in the country to partner with Care.com to offer child and elder care. They have agreed to provide 90 days of “free premium service” (access to website) to Rhode Islanders. Anyone in Rhode Island looking for child care or elder care can visit care.com/rineed in need for services. Governor says this is also a good way for those out of work to earn money and/or a place to volunteer.
- Governor says says Boys & Girls Club, Greater Providence YMCA, Children’s Workshop, Children’s Friend and Learning Brook will offer on-site care for healthcare workers.
- Governor says current arrangement with child care centers are that they can choose to continue to operate, but if they do they must follow the new emergency regulations. DHS will strictly be enforcing the new guidelines, visiting establishments to make sure they are compliant.
- Distance Learning – Early reports from superintendents have been positive, according to Governor.
- Unemployment Insurance: Doing everyone they can to get everyone paid within 10-12 days, but hopefully sooner. Those who file should do so by phone or online, do not show up or call to check in on process once filed.
- Director of Health says the number being tested is slowly expanding, and capacity now allows for 200 or more a day. She says supplies have been an issue in expansion, but that more will be tested with “a stable influx of supplies”
What’s Up Newp asked the following question today during the press conference, “When is a positive case considered recovered? And are any of the 124 cases recovered”?.
“So when patients have recovered they have had symptoms for at least seven days, they have had the remaining end of that time frame where they have had improvement in the symptoms and for the final three days no fever, without the use of fever reducing medication”, Dr. Alexander-Scott said..
She continued, “There are many, many patients of our 124 that have recovered”. She went on to say “124 is a cumulative number of cases since the beginning of this”.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today made announcements about the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Video: Governor, Director of Health provide COVID-19 update (March 24th), 124 positive cases of COVID-19 now in R.I.
Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 18 additional cases of COVID-19. Among these 18 people, individuals reported travel to a number of domestic locations, including Colorado and Oregon. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 124.
- Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 124
- Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 1,143
- Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 196
- Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 3,000
Important to note – Director of Health: “There are many, many patients of our 124 who have recovered”
- Gender, age, and county breakdowns are not included in today’s update. Because some results came in later than usual, RIDOH needs additional time to do follow-up with patients.
- 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.)
- Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.
- Care.com: Rhode Island has partnered with Care.com to increase child care access for frontline workers responding to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to providing 90 days of free, premium access to their website, Care.com has created portals specifically for frontline workers and caregivers in Rhode Island. Starting today, frontline workers looking for child care can visit www.care.com/rineed to find a local caregiver. Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit www.care.com/rigive to register. Potential caregivers are subject to Care.com’s extensive background and safety checks. While child care services are not typically free of charge, the Rhode Island portal gives residents the ability to waive their fees and volunteer as caregivers, providing additional support to frontline workers.
- Regulations for child care facilities: The Governor also announced that DHS has promulgated emergency regulations for Rhode Island child care providers that choose to remain open during this crisis. To the extent possible, child care facilities must operate under new mandatory conditions.
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.
- When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.
- 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.
- 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.
- More information is available from CDC.
- 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 this weekend from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)
- Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
- Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
- 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.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.