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At her daily press briefing today, Governor Gina Raimondo rolled out her strategy to reopen Rhode Island’s economy in a phased approach.

Raimondo announced a three-phase plan for gradually loosening restrictions, assuming the state continue to make progress in flatting the curve.

Reopening Timeline

This timeline covers several weeks and goes well into June. To move from one phases to another, the state must see in each phase a 14-day downward trend in the number of cases or a 14-day trend in stable or declining hospitalizations, and it comes down to testing, tracing, and trends.

The Governor today said Rhode Island isn’t yet ready to start Phase 1, but hopes to get the state and resources where they need to be over the next two weeks.

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Phase I: Testing the water – Ideally would begin on May 9th

  • During this phase the stay at home order is lifted
  • Social gathering are limited to 10 people
  • Older adults (65+) and those with underlying health conditions can go to work and go out for food or medicine. But, in accordance with federal public health guidance, vulnerable individuals are strong encouraged to otherwise stay home.
  • Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place.
  • Everyone who can work from home should still work from home.
  • All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.

In addition in Phase I:

  • Some parks begin to reopen with strong social distancing guidelines.
  • Elective medical procedures resume under new safety protocols.
  • Primary care and community health providers remain open. Other allied health professions reopen with updated safety protocols (i.e. physical therapists, behavioral therapists, etc.). Pilot reopening of dentists’ offices under strict new regulations.
  • Limited childcare options are available with strong social distancing guidelines.
  • School buildings remain closed, and distance learning continues.
  • Retail locations allow in-store pickup of pre-orders. There is potential for allowing browsing under new restrictions.
  • Offices should emphasize remote work but can allow limited numbers of employees on site in accordance with new guidelines.
  • Restaurants remain open for pickup, delivery, and drive-through (with offerings modestly expanded). Pilots of seated dining begin, including outdoor dining.
  • Pilot openings of hair salons and barbers begin with significant restrictions to protect public health and safety.
  • Manufacturers and construction sites continue operations under existing and evolving guidance

Phase II: Navigating Our Way – Would ideally start two weeks after Phase I (on or around May 24th)

  • Expanded childcare options will be available under strict public health guidelines.
  • More restaurants, retail and close-contact businesses like hair and nail salons may open.
  • Additional recreational options will likely return including more parks and beaches, but restrictions remain.
  • Social limits increase to 15 people.
  • Older adults (65+) and those with underlying health conditions can go to work and go out for food or medicine. But in accordance with federal public health guideance, vulnerable individuals are still strongly encourage to otherwise stay home.
  • Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place.
  • Offices will ease capacity restrictions allowing more people to come in, but many people will still work from home.
  • All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.

Phase III: Picking Up Speed – Would ideally start two weeks after Phase II (on or around June 8th)

  • We can look forward to schools opening with restrictions and seeing more of our families and friends.
  • Offices, restaurants, retail and other businesses will lift some of the tightest restrictions to allow more people in at one time but will need to operate under long-term safety guidelines.
  • Social gatherings are limited to 50 people.
  • Older adults (65+) and those with underlying health conditions are no longer strongly encouraged to stay home. These individuals are reminded to exercise significant caution in public.
  • Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place.
  • Working from home is still encouraged where possible but more people will return to the workplace.
  • All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.

Beyond Phase III: Would ideally start two weeks after Phase III (on or around June 23rd)

  • Gathering and working restrictions will further relax.
  • Additional businesses will open, and more group activities will be allowed.

Moving Forward, Stepping Back

Regarding moving between phases, the Governor emphasized that she will continue to use a data-driven approach to decision making, but “flexibility is key” she said during the press briefing. The Governor said that “if we see a spike or somethings not working, we’ll have to pull back.”

The Governor has repeatedly said that for the next year, until there is a cure or vaccine, that we will continue tohave to live under some kind of social distancing guidelines.

Reopening RI: Phased Plan

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Domestic Travel In & Out Of Rhode Island

During today’s press briefing, What’s Up Newp asked the Governor, “what does domestic travel, in and out of Rhode Island, look like in each phase? At what phase does 14-day quarantine order end for visitors?”

The Governor responded by saying “It’s a good question and the honest answer is we’re still working on it. ” Governor says she’s going to try to collaborate travel restrictions with neighboring states. Governor says that the 14 day quarantine will almost certainly in place through Phase I. Governor says she is very concerned about “border control” and her and her team are still working on it.

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