Governor Gina Raimondo and the Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott provided updates to reporters about Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response today at 1 pm.

Updates as they happen;

The latest data.

Gov: “We are still in the upswing here in R.I.” with deaths and hospitalizations going up. “Your hard work has helped us flatten the curve”. Encourages Rhode Islanders to hang in there until May 8th, hoping by then we will be on downswing in curve.

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Gov: Hopes that she may be able to life some of the restrictions when y expire on May 8th, based on current projections. “But, things aren’t going to be the “way they were” for at least a year, until there’s a vaccine”.

Gov: Recognizes Beacon Mutual Insurance Company. That company will allow front-line workers to file for worker’s comp under presumption they contracted the virus while on the job. They’ll also expedite the claims.

Gov: Rhode Island hospitals have increased collective capacity by 250 percent to prepare for surge. In about a week ,Rhode Island will have capacity in two field hospitals ( Convention Center and former Citizens Bank) with over 1,200 new beds.

Gov: More than 3,300 retired healthcare professionals have responded to RIREsponds.org. Will help in preparing for the surge.

Gov: Goal is to have 30-day supply of PPE on hand, not there yet but hopes to be there in a week (ish).

Gov: Says she will have a lot to say about “getting people back to work” next week.

Gov: State is just a few days away from deployed the Battelle system to sanitize N95 masks, will allow for reuse.

Director of Health: 10 of 13 newly reported deaths are from congregant setting, like nursing homes.New fatalities include on person in 50’s, two in 60’s, seven in their 70’s, one in 90’s, one over 100. ( of the deaths happened yesterday and four others in previous days.


Official Press Release

Governor Raimondo, Dr. Alexander-Scott Provide Updates on State Response to COVID-19

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), made several announcements today about the state’s response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

  • Workers Compensation: Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, which insures 12,000 Rhode Island businesses, will be allowing frontline healthcare workers to file for workers compensation under the presumption that they contracted the virus in the course of doing their jobs – and will expedite those claims. This includes doctors, nurses, EMTs, home health aides and others.
  • Testing for vulnerable populations: The state is implementing a cyclical testing program for all nursing homes to be tested every 7-10 days. This involves delivering swabs to nursing homes and picking up samples the next day. Mobile testing for outbreaks will be deployed to hot spots. 

COVID-19 Data Update
Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 372 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 4,177. There were 13 additional fatalities. One person was in their 50s, 2 people were in their 60s, 7 people were in their 70s, one person was in their 80s, one person was in their 90s and one was more than 100 years old.Rhode Island’s total number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 118.  A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online.

Key messages for the public

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare).
  • The people who live with that person and who have been in direct close contact with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days after the last day that that person was in isolation. Direct close contact means being within approximately 6 feet of a person for a prolonged period.
  • Help is available for people living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Visit www.RIDelivers.com for connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups. People can also call 2-1-1. 
  • When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas.
  • Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
  • Healthcare workers should not be going to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms).
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

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