Governor 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 Wednesday, March 25th, at 2:30 p.m.

Updates as they happen;

  • Governor announced that their are 8 new cases, bring 132 positive COVID-19 cases now in Rhode Island. 5 of these 8 new cases are male, 3 are females. Ages range from 30’s to 60’s. Director of Health says 16 of the 132 people are in the hospital. “The majority” are stable, but she says some are in the ICU.
  • Governor applauds local congressional delegation, government for $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
  • $1.25 billion of stimulus for Rhode Island in federal COVID-19 aid package.
  • All 1099/gig workers will be getting benefits.
  • Governor says federal funds will help small businesses, as well as hospitals and health care centers.
  • Governor: “The best thing we can do to keep each other healthy and alive is to keep ourselves away from other people”. “Do not put yourself in a large group of ten or more people.”
  • Gov. says new guidelines to major retailers will come later today – applies to big box stores, grocery stores. Limits number of people allowed at once in stores, steps up cleaning.
  • In response to What’s Up Newp’s question for the Governor , “Do you plan to extend the date restaurants are prohibited from on-premise food consumption (date is currently March 30th)?”, The Governor said she plans to extent prohibition of dine-in services at Rhode Island restaurants past March 30th. She’ll have more guidance on Friday during her press conference.

Update: 7:30 pm

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today announced new guidelines issued by the Department of Business Regulation for retailers and grocers as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

As of 5PM tomorrow, all retailers and grocers must:

  • Allow no more than 20% of stated fire capacity in the store at a time;
  • Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and enforce limits;
  • Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas. Stores should consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high-density areas of stores;
  • Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers;
  • Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout;
  • Designate employee(s) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed;
  • Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling; and
  • Offer exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will restrict entrance to maintain 10% of fire capacity.

Larger grocery stores and retailers with more than 25,000 square feet are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options.

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has eight additional cases of COVID-19. Five of these individuals are males, and three are females. They range in age from their 30s to their 60s. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 132.- Advertisement –


Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 132
  • Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 1,339
  • Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 181
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 3,000

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex:

  • Females: 66
  • Males: 66

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

  • 0-19: 6
  • 20-29: 22
  • 30-39: 24
  • 40-49: 24
  • 50-59: 28
  • 60-69: 15
  • 70-79: 11
  • 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 – 11
  • Cumberland – fewer than 5
  • East Greenwich – 0
  • East Providence – 8
  • Exeter – 0
  • Foster – fewer than 5
  • Glocester – 0
  • Hopkinton – 0
  • Jamestown – fewer than 5
  • Johnston – fewer than 5
  • Lincoln – fewer than 5
  • Little Compton – 0
  • Middletown – 5
  • Narragansett – fewer than 5
  • New Shoreham – 0
  • Newport – fewer than 5
  • North Kingstown – fewer than 5
  • North Providence – fewer than 5
  • North Smithfield – fewer than 5
  • Pawtucket – 5
  • Portsmouth – fewer than 5
  • Providence – 42
  • Richmond – 0
  • Scituate – fewer than 5
  • Smithfield – fewer than 5
  • South Kingstown – 7
  • Tiverton – 0
  • Warren – fewer than 5
  • Warwick – 7
  • West Greenwich – 0
  • West Warwick – 0
  • Westerly – fewer than 5
  • Woonsocket – fewer than 5

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

  • 15

Data notes:

  • 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.)

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, write to, 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.

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.