coronavirus in Rhode Island

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

Video of Press Briefing

Updates from the Press Briefing

Gov: Cases still rising. “We are not out of the woods”. We still haven’t turned the corner.

Gov: Acknowledges distance learning has been challenging, especially for students with differing abilities. Credits teachers, students, families for making it work.

Gov: In light of the fact that we’re doing a good job (with distance learning) and haven’t hit a peak, distance learning will remain in place for K-12 public school students for remainder of the year.

Gov: Had hoped to wind up in a different place. had hoped to allow kids to go back to school with a few weeks left in academic year so they could end year in a tradition form. Governor says it would be “wrong and irresponsible” to send kids back to school for a few weeks.

Gov: Raimondo says there will be a statewide academic calendar for the rest of the year.

Gov: To class of 2020, “this is a bummer and I’m sorry”. Traditional proms, graduations, events are not going to be possible this spring.

Gov: Will be partnering with PBS to host statewide graduation special in June with special guests, music, and more. Governor asks 2020 grads to spend some time while at home to complete their FAFSA.

Gov: Will do another kis-only press conference next Thursday, April 30th at 1 pm.

Gov: On over 60 crowd, Raimondo says:You’re going to be able to continue to go to work, ” She said she received a strong reaction to her announcement yesterday that those who are 60+ would face a different set of regulations.

Education Commissioner Angelica Infante: Says Governor did not reach school decision lightly. Says Rhode Island has stepped up to the occasion on distance learning, and philanthropy has helped to connect all students with tools and technology. She also said “This is one of my proudest moments”.

Director of Health: On eight new deaths, four in 60’s, two in 70’s, one in 80’s, and on in 90’s. Four nursing home residents among the eight deaths. Data on nursing homes will now be posted with data information (note – this was a What’s Up Newp request on Sunday).

What’s Up Newp Question during press briefing – Governor – When do you plan to make an announcement regarding daycare’s and summer camps? Many Rhode Islanders are concerned about going back to work without school, daycare, or summer camps as a place for their children to go.

The Governor says she hopes to have something to say next week on child care and day care, in the coming weeks she’ll have more on summer camps.

What’s Up Newp Question during press conference call – Commissioner – is there any consistency across the state in regards to a last day of school or grading?

Commission responded that they have provided a educational calendar, schools still have to complete 180 days, latest schools would go is June 18th. It’s up to the school district to go Pass/Fail or by grades (A, B, C, etc.).

The Latest Data

Press Release

Governor Announces Extension of Distance Learning

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

  • Distance learning: Today, the Governor announced that school buildings will remain closed and distance learning will continue through the end of the school year in June. 
  • Helpline: Parents looking for support as their students engage with distance learning can access a new helpline through the  Rhode Island Department of Education and Highlander Institute at 909-414-4927. More information can be found here []
  • Kids Press Conference: Next Thursday, April 30 at 1PM, Governor Raimondo will hold a second Kids Press Conference. Students can submit questions for the Governor here. [] 

COVID-19 Data Update 

Rhode Island has 412 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 6,256. RIDOH also announced 8 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Of these eight people, four were nursing home residents. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 189. 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.
  • 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.

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...