Governor Raimondo hosting her daily COVID-19 press briefing today at 1 pm.

Updates as they happen;

  • Gov: Reports 3rd death due to COVID-19. 55 new positive cases of COVID-19 in state, brings total to 294. 35 hospitalized.
  • Gov: Asks public to two things today – do a kind thing for someone today and write down a list of four or five people you’re going to interact with in person this week (keep it the same people to reduce the spread).
  • Gov: Effective tomorrow, state suspending all childcare licenses until April 4th. After that they will take it week by week. ” I don’t think it’s safe to keep child care centers open”. Urges those who need a sitter to use
  • Gov: Medicaid – Rhode Island Medicaid will be suspending all re-certifications and income checks. If you’re on Medicaid now, you can stay on until the end of COVID-19 crisis.
  • Gov: DMV – 90 day extension on expiration’s that occur in the month of March or April.
  • State Police Col. Manni: All passenger vehicles with out of state plates will be required to stop at one of the checkpoints at Rhode Island border to provide information.
  • RI Health: There are COVID-19 cases in 3 nursing homes.

This story is developing, more information will be added as it is received.


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

Watch: Governor provides COVID-19 update (March 29th)

  • Domestic Travel: Starting today, Rhode Island will have highway signs directing all out-of-state drivers to pull over at information stations on the southern border with Connecticut. State police will ensure that anyone planning to stay in Rhode Island knows that they’re required to quarantine for 14 days. National Guard members will ask drivers to provide their contact information to be passed on to the Department of Health. 
  • Child Care: Effective tomorrow, the state is suspending all childcare licenses until April 4. Rhode Island has partnered with to increase childcare access to Rhode Islanders. In addition to providing 90 days of free, premium access to their website, has created portals specifically for frontline workers and caregivers in Rhode Island. Starting today, frontline workers looking for child care can visit to find a local caregiver. Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit  to register. Potential caregivers are subject to’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.
  • Medicaid: Rhode Island Medicaid will be suspending all terminations and quarterly income verifications for the duration of this emergency. 
  • DMV: Rhode Islanders will have a 90-day extension on expirations for March or April. This goes beyond the original 30-day extension announced weeks ago and will apply to all licenses, registrations, inspections, permits, and temporary plates.

The Governor announced today that Rhode Island has 55 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 294.


Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 294
  • Number of Rhode Islanders who had negative test results: 2,840
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 1,000.

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

  • Barrington – 6
  • Bristol – 5
  • Burrillville – 7
  • Central Falls – fewer than 5
  • Charlestown – fewer than 5
  • Coventry – 6
  • Cranston – 31
  • Cumberland – 8
  • East Greenwich – fewer than 5
  • East Providence – 13
  • Exeter – fewer than 5
  • Foster – fewer than 5
  • Glocester – fewer than 5
  • Hopkinton – fewer than 5
  • Jamestown – fewer than 5
  • Johnston – 7
  • Lincoln – fewer than 5
  • Little Compton – fewer than 5
  • Middletown – 6
  • Narragansett – fewer than 5
  • New Shoreham – 0
  • Newport – 6
  • North Kingstown – 8
  • North Providence – fewer than 5
  • North Smithfield – fewer than 5
  • Pawtucket – 14
  • Portsmouth – fewer than 5
  • Providence – 63
  • Richmond – 0
  • Scituate – fewer than 5
  • Smithfield – 5
  • South Kingstown – 8
  • Tiverton – 5
  • Warren – fewer than 5
  • Warwick – 16
  • West Greenwich – 0
  • West Warwick – 6
  • Westerly – 6
  • Woonsocket – fewer than 5

Please note that determination of some places of residence are still pending.

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

  • 35

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 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.

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. If you need to get food or pick up medicine, you need to call a loved one or neighbor who can run that errand for you. Respecting and following quarantine rules will help Rhode Island try to ensure that there are enough hospital beds when there is a surge of patients who are ill with COVID-19.
  • Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing.
  • 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.
  • 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 and should not go out. If you have any symptoms at all, you should isolate at home. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you 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, write to, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public.

  • 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 and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.

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

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...