Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Department of Health provided updates to reporters about Rhode Island’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response today at 1 pm.
Updates as they happen;
Governor reports another 10 COVID-19 associated deaths, brings total to 73. Announces an additional 311 positive cases, brings total to 2,967. There are 197 currently hospitalized. Gov. says don’t be alarmed by worsening numbers, she says they’re due largely to expanded testing.
Director of Health: On new fatalities, two were in 50’s, one in 70s, five in 80s, one in 90s, She says eight of them were in nursing homes.
Director of Health – Right now there are 197 people in the hospital. Overall, 331 patients have been hospitalized since the outbreak began in Rhode Island. So 135 have been discharged from hospital after having COVID-19.
55 of Rhode Island’s 73 COVID-19 associated deaths are from nursing homes. 4 of new deaths reported today are from Oak Hill in Pawtuckets, 2 from Golden Crest in North Providence, 1 from Elmhurst in Providence, 1 from Oakland Grove in Woonsocket.
Director of Health: Nursing homes need staffing support. If you are a retired nurse, CNA, or any other health care worker able to help in a nursing home, “we need you”. Visit riresponds.org.
Gov: Goldman-Sachs committing $10 million small business loan program. commerceri.com for more info.
Gov: Last week, state averaged 2,068 tests per day. Says Rhode Island is #3 in the country on per capita testing. 20,000 tests done so far. Gov. says they are working on mobile testing, where they could bring rapid testing to nursing homes, other congregate settings. Also working on bringing tests to inner cities.
Gov: Unemployment – 144,000 have applied for unemployment insurance, begs for patience. Go online to file your application, make sure application is accurately and completely filled out. Trying to get checks out in 7-14 days.
Three ways to receive Unemployment Insurance type benefits. 1) Standard Unemployment for those who have been laid off. There will be additional $600 a week benefit until end of July. 2) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program – for people who aren’t usually available for unemployment insurance (Self-employed, small business owners). $600 a week benefit until end of July. 3) Haven’t been laid off but have been severely affected by COVID-19. This is the hardest benefit to receive and will take the longest to receive a check.
Gov: Rhode Island foundation has partnered with RIDE and committed over 100k to provide computers and wifi hot spots to students in need.
Gov: Will make an announcement about remainder of school year later this week.
What’s Up Newp asked “Director, can you clarify why the Department of Health isn’t sharing a number for “recovered” and why we haven’t seen data based on race, ethnicity, or zip code?”
Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said the state is working to make available the number of ‘recovered’ people. Total number of cases has to be subtracted from people still in hospital and who have passed away. Number remains is the total, people considered recovered after two weeks.
In regards to race/ethnicity, she says that Latino are about 10 percent of cases. Those who are African-American are 3 percent of cases and Caucasians represent 10.9 percent. They’re still working on the overall data.
This story is developing, check back for updates.