coronavirus in Rhode Island

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Doctor McDonald from 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 Press Briefing

Gov: Says one day of drop in data does not make a trend but it’s a sign of hope that increases not as great as prior days.

Gov: Waterfire will have a virtual exhibit called the “Beacon of Hope” that will represent those Rhode Islanders who have died from COVID-19. View at

Gov: Mental Health Impact – Says pandemic is the roughest thing that many will live through. If you feel like you need help, reach out, she says. Gov. says the state has added resources, reminder that insurance companies have to cover tele-medicine. Help available at 414-LINK and for kids at 855-543-5465.

Gov: On Veterans Home in Bristol, one positive case with a patient, one with a staff member. “We’re going at it with gusto to make sure everybody stays as healthy as possible”. All staff and residents are being tested. Rhode Island National Guard on site to support the home.

Gov: Reminds small businesses to apply for PPP. They are going to start processing that tomorrow. “You’ve got to move fast on this one”, she says.

Dr. McDonald: On 11 new associated deaths – 10 of the 11 were from nursing homes. 1 person in their 50s, 4 in 70s, 1 in 80s, 5 in their 90s.

The Latest Local Data

April 26: 7,439 positive cases, 258 currently hospitalized (78 in ICU, 53 on ventilator), 226 total fatalities.

More from Governor, Department of Health (Press Release)

COVID-19 Data Update

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) posted updated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data online today. Rhode Island has 310 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 7,439. RIDOH also announced 11 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Of these 11 people, one person was in their 50s, four people were in their 70s, one person was in their 80s, and five people were in their 90s. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 226. 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.

This story is developing and will be updated as it happens.

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 Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

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

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.