Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. James McDonald, who is one of the Medical Directors at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), will provide updates to reporters about Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response on Wednesday, April 1st, at 2:30 p.m. (Note the time change for today.) 

The press conferences on Thursday and Friday will be held at 1 p.m.

Updates as they happen;

  • Gov.: Press conference on Thursday at 1 pm will be for kids. She has received more than 12,000 questions so far.
  • Gov: 2 more deaths related to COVID-19. 77 additional cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island, brings total to 566. 60 are hospitalized.
  • Dr. James McDonald – New positive cases range from pediatric to people in their 90’s.
  • Dr. James McDonald – Of the two new fatalities – one person in 50’s, other in 70’s , both had underlying health issues. Neither nursing home residents.
  • Gov: Today marks one month since we’ve been at this.
  • Gov: Testing – 6 swabbing sites all around the state, 6 labs processing tests all around the state. By tomorrow “we’ll be at 1,000 person per day capacity” for testing. Governor says primary care doctors can send patients to get tested by appointment beginning tomorrow.
  • Gov: State has acquired a half million respiratory masks and half million surgical masks.
  • Gov: Says 5 million N95 masks are on the way to R.I., 3 million surgical masks, hundreds of thousands of gloves, and hundreds of thousands of gowns on the way to R.I.
  • Gov: Hopes to have same day testing/results available soon.
  • Gov: We are going to have to set up field hospitals that provide 2,000 additional beds. Her team is identifying locations, purchasing equipment.
  • Gov: She will not release a model until it’s accurate. She says they have a team trying to predict when Rhode Island will see a peak in cases. Might be available sometime next week. Biggest variable in models is social distancing.
  • Gov: As of today, or call 2-1-1 – food delivery service available for those stuck at home, quarantined. Roch’s Grocery Store is partner in this.
  • Gov: State launching short-term bridge loan for businesses that have 10 employees or fewer. Meant to bridge businesses until SBA Loan, then until federal loan. $2 million quickly available to businesses after you have applied for SBA Loan. Call 521-HELP. Developed by Commerce RI, LISC, RI Hospitality, and Bank Newport.
  • Dr. James McDonald – While 60 Rhode Islanders are in the hospital now with COVID-19, 33 have been discharged and most people recover from the illness.
  • Dr. James McDonald – There are 566 cases that we know about, but we actually don’t know how many more people are out there with the virus that haven’t been tested. That’s part of the problem in talking about recoveries.
  • Dr. James McDonald – Vast majority of people with COVID-19 do recover, 90%. For some people it’s so mild that people don’t know they have it.
  • Gov: Rhode is increasing advertising and outreach to bolster census during pandemic.

In response to a question from What’s Up Newp – ” Can you clarify your orders regarding beaches and parks? Some confusion yesterday when you said parking lots were closed. Also, if parks and beaches are closing, why wait until Friday? Why not do it immediately?” – the Governor said in part that she is “closing parking lots for beaches and parks, so they will be officially closed. There will be barriers at entrances. If you’re in position to walk there, that’s fine. Waiting until Friday so barriers can all get up, let people know. Governor continued that said she closed parks and beaches because big groups were gathering. But she urges people to find ways to get fresh air — just don’t do it in big groups. Go to a park with a friend or two.

This story is developing. More updates will be added as information is received.


Governor Gina M. Raimondo today made several announcements today about the state’s response to COVID-19.

  • RI Delivers: Today the state launched RI Delivers, Rhode Island’s connection to help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. This service will ensure that Rhode Islanders in quarantine will have what they need to safely remain home and monitor their symptoms. Connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups are featured at For additional information, residents can call 2-1-1. 
  • Small Business Loan: The Governor announced that the state launching a short-term bridge loan program for restaurants and small businesses (up to 10 employees). This program was developed in partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation and the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. It’s funded by $1M from Commerce’s Small Business Loan Fund and $1M from Bank Newport. To be eligible, the business must have first applied for the federal SBA emergency disaster loan. Businesses can apply starting Friday through the LISC website. You can also call 521-HELP. 
  • Family Court: The Governor also clarified guidance regarding visitation for parents who have joint custody of their children. In all cases, Family Court order are to be followed. If either parent feels a modification to visitation is warranted, they must discuss the issue and come to a resolution together. If a resolution cannot be reached, Family Court is open to deal with emergencies only. Anyone with questions should contact a family law attorney or RI Legal Services


The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced 77 new cases of COVID-19. Rhode Island now has 566 COVID-19 cases. Two additional COVID-19-associated fatalities were also announced, bringing Rhode Island’s total to 10. One person was a female in her 50s. The other person was a male in his 70s. Both individuals had underlying medical conditions. A full data summary is available online.

Rhode Island Numbers

Last Update: 4/1/2020
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases:566
Number of people who had negative test results:3,831
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized60
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently in intensive care units14
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 associated fatalities10

Rhode Island COVID-19 Positive PatientsNew Positive CasesTotal Positive Cases3/2/203/9/203/16/203/23/203/30/200100200300400500600# postive patients

DateNew Positive CasesTotal Positive Cases
Age data last updated 3/31/2020

Rhode Island COVID-19 Patients by Age0-910-1920-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980-8990-99100+020406080100120Age Groupnumber of patients

Age GroupRhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

Note: Zero in an age category indicates either zero patients or less than five patients.

Sex data last updated 4/1/2020

Rhode Island COVID-19 Patients by SexFemaleMale050100150200250300number of patients

SexRhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex
City/Town data last updated 4/1/2020
City/TownRhode Island COVID-19 patients by city/town of residence
Central Falls8
East Greenwich<5
East Providence20
Little Compton<5
New Shoreham0
North Kingstown10
North Providence60
North Smithfield<5
South Kingstown10
West Greenwich<5
West Warwick11

Note: There may be slight discrepancies between the statewide total and the data at the city and town level because additional time is sometimes needed to identify the permanent place of residence of some COVID-19 patients.

Key messages for the public

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate. The people who live with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you need to get food or pick up medicine, call a loved one or neighbor who can run that errand for you.
  • 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 doing to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms).
  • Through April 13th, 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.)
  • 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. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness.
  • 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.

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.

o    Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.

o    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...