Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH will provide updates to reporters about Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response tomorrow, Thursday, March 19th, at 1 pm.

What’s Up Newp will bring you the press conference live here at 1 pm.

Live updates from press conference (refresh for updates);

  • Governor announced there are 11 new positive cases of coronavirus in Rhode Island since yesterday. Brings total to 44. Director of Health says the new cases range in age from 20’s to 60’s, some of these people have traveled to New York and Utah. One of the 11 is hospitalized.
  • Director of Health says in the coming days (and now with more data and cases), they will start releasing data (positive COVID-19 cases) on a county level of who has tested positive. They “may get to” a place where they start releasing how many in each city or town. Director says people shouldn’t read too deeply into this data because the virus doesn’t care about borders.
  • Governor announces that she is not planning on (following other states in) ordering a Shelter In Place.
  • Governor says today’s focus has been on acquiring personal protective equipment (ppe) and swabs. Asking Rhode Islanders, manufacturers, businesses, labs, and medical supply distributors to get a hold of the state if they have supplies or contacts that they can share. “We need to here from you”. By 3 p.m. today Department Of Health website will have details on what the state is looking for specifically. Website is
  • Gov. says AG reports that there are more cases of price gouging, wants consumers to know that is illegal and it should be reported.
  • Governor on banks – They are in good financial shape, don’t worry about banks not having money or accessing cash.
  • Those worrying about being evicted, Governor says “you’re not going to be evicted. Eviction courts are shut down through April 17th.
  • Gov. says DOH has ordered no visitation to nursing homes by family members.
  • In response to questions, Director of Health says Rhode Island has access to 200 ventilators.
  • State is not planning to extend the sales tax deadline for restaurants. Governor says if you’re having a particular hardship, call the Division of Taxation.

This is breaking news, we will follow up with more information and the official press release as soon as we have it.

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.