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

What’s Up Newp will carry it live here when it happens.

Updates from the press briefing;

Gov: Says we are still climbing curve but it’s not as steep as it once was. Suggests social distancing is working.

Gov: Reminder to keep a contact tracing notebook, write down where you go and who you come in contact with everyday.

Gov: On this morning’s snowsotrm, “I called Mother Nature and told her to knock it off”.

Gov: First installment, approximately $625 million dollars, of $1.25 billion for CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund arrived yesterday. Other half due by end of month. Gov says she is still waiting for US Treasury regulation on how money can be spent.

Gov: Reminded and reviewed her order on cloth face masks. Governor Raimondo signs Executive Order requiring cloth face masks at work

Gov: Relief fund for artists was launched this month. Says fund has distributed about $126,000 in two weeks to help about 250 artists so far.

Gov: On Monday, she will be issuing guidelines for garden centers to open on April 27th. Big box stores must limit garden sections beginning Sunday to just pick up, no browsing.

Gov: She will be making announcements regarding how the economy is going to reopen next week. Says it will be in phases. Says it will be a “very inclusive” and “very attentive” approach.

Director of Health: On the 19 new deaths – 1 person in 30s, 2 in 50s, 3 in 60s, 4 in 70s, 7 in 80s, 2 in 90s. Ten lived in nursing homes. 17 of the fatalities occurred in last 24 hours, 2 occurred in the 24 hour phase before that.

Director of Health: Cloth face mask does not negate need for social distancing standards. Rhode Islanders should be doing both.

The Latest Data

Press Release from the Governor’s Office

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).

  • Garden centers: Starting tomorrow, big box stores that include garden centers are required to close open browsing and shopping options within their garden centers. Garden center sales will be temporarily limited to pickup, delivery, and appointment options – as is the case for free-standing garden centers. 
  • Masks: Earlier this week, the Governor signed an executive order issuing clear direction about face coverings. The following directives take effect today:
  • All employees of customer-facing businesses, office-based businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits and construction workers must wear cloth face coverings when they are at work.
  • Additionally, all customer-facing businesses must take steps to remind customers to wear face coverings. 
  • The only exceptions are for anyone whose health would be in jeopardy because of wearing a face covering or any children under 2 years old.
  • The RI Artist Relief Fund: The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), in cooperation with the Rhode Island Foundation and the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, announced the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund today. Created to provide grants to RI artists who are in financial distress as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the fund has awarded $126,030 in grants to support 253 Rhode Island artists. The Governor encouraged anyone in a position to donate to the fund to visit For more information, visit

COVID-19 Data Update

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 317 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 4,491. RIDOH also announced 19 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. One person was in their 30s, 2 people were in their 50s, 3 people were in their 60s, 4 people were in their 70s, 7 people was in their 80s, and 2 people were in their 90s. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 137. 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 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.
  • Wearing a cloth face covering does not negate the need to observe social distancing requirements. We must do both to help reduce the spread of COVID-19: as of today, wear cloth face coverings and continue to respect and follow the 6-foot distancing standard.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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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