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Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health hosted their daily coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) press briefing today at 1 pm.

The Latest Local Data

May 5th: RIDOH reports there are 281 new positive cases (total now 9,933), 14 new associated fatalities (total now 355), 327 currently hospitalized, 89 currently in ICU, and 62 are currently on a ventilator.

Press Briefing

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Updates From The Press Briefing

Gov: Says she is still feeling good about the numbers. She says Rhode Islanders have played an incredibly important role in keeping one another safe.

Gov: “I want to be crystal clear” things are not going back to normal during phase one of reopening. Everything will take time, new rules, etc. Gov. says the best way to get through this is by accepting that the virus will be around for a year or more, until vaccine or therapy, and we have to use new restrictions to limit spread.

Gov: Will sign an Executive Order later today requiring Rhode Islanders to wear a face mask when in public (indoor/outdoor). The order goes into effect on Friday (exceptions very young children, those with health conditions prohibiting it).

Gov: Covering your nose and mouth is significant for reducing spread of COVID-19. Have a mask with you and be prepared to wear it if you are within 6 feet of someone who you are not in contact with constantly.

Gov: on multiple support systems: – In past 2 months, we’ve set up 1,200 beds at 6 sites to provide people w quarantine space and give health care workers a safe space to rest. Worked w retailers to bring businesses online, and increase curbside + delivery.

Gov: Rhode Island delivering 26,000 meals a day, Rhode Island Food Bank has delivered three-million pounds of food, a 40% increase.

Gov: There is a one-stop coronavirus phone app coming. It will help those in need, and with contact racing and testing.

Gov: This is a desperate time, but there’s no excuse for violence at home. If you’re experience violence at home, there’s help available.

Gov: Encourages Rhode Islanders to use, people are using the site to give help to neighbors, check in on people.

Gov: Says in Phase one, state government employees will continue to work from home when possible. For in-office workers, all must wear masks, keep 6-feet distance, extra cleaning protocols. There will be a little more in-person DMV services by appointment only in phase one. Currently, only Cranston site open by appointment only.

Director of Health: Reminds Rhode Islanders to stay home if you have symptoms – don’t think it’s ok to go out just because you are wearing a mask. Some people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, so masks help in those cases.

Director of Health: The 14 COVID-19 associated deaths reported today range in age from their 50’s to their 100’s. One in 50’s, three in 60’s, one in 70’s. The remaining were in their 80’s or older.

Press Release from the Governor’s Office

Raimondo Details Plan for Phase 1 of Reopening:

New Face Coverings Guidance, DMV to Reopen Some In-Person Operations

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today provided more details on Phase 1 of the Rhode Island’s plan to reopen the economy today.  

  • Executive order: The Governor signed an executive orderdirecting everyone in a public place – whether indoors or outdoors – to wear a cloth face covering. The only exceptions are for children younger than two years of age and anyone whose health would be negatively affected by wearing a face covering. The order goes into effect Friday. 
  • State government: In the first phase of reopening, state customer services—including HealthSourceRI, the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT)—will continue to serve the public through call centers and online services. However, the state is planning to open more in-person services at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by appointment only in Phase 1. 

 More details on the plan to safely reopen Rhode Island’s economy can be found here

COVID-19 Data Update 

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced 281 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 9,933. Rhode RIDOH also announced 14 new COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 355. 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.
  • 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.

COVID-19 in Rhode Island 

Current Status

Rhode Island is currently in Phase I of Reopening Rhode Island. Phase I began on May 9th and the state is expected to move to Phase II on June 1st.

In Phase I / Currently In Effect

  • Domestic Travel: Anyone coming to Rhode Island from any other state must self-quarantine for 14 days (expires May 31st)
  • International Travel: Anyone coming to Rhode Island from outside of the country must self-quarantine for 14 days (expires June 5th)
  • Addition Quarantining: Anyone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus by a lab test or by a doctor who has assessed symptoms must isolate until cleared based on guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH)
  • Retail: Non-critical retail stores has reopened with capacity limits.
  • Medical: Elective medical procedures have resumed under safety guidelines.
  • Work: Offices are permitted to start allowing people to come and go on a very limited basis.  Everyone who can work from home, should work from home.
  • State Parks: All state parks have reopened with limited parking and limited amenities.
  • Beaches: Two state beaches (Scarborough and East Matunuck) will reopen on May 25th. Remaining state beaches will reopen in June. Third Beach will open to Middletown residents on May 23rd, Second Beach and First Beach remain closed.
  • Restaurants, bars, and cafes: will remain closed to dine-in service throughout Phase I. As of May 18th, restaurants can offer limited outdoor dining. Wine, beer and mix-drinks can still be sold with take-out orders.
  • Recreation and entertainment businesses: remain closed. This includes theaters, cinemas, bowling alleys, concert venues, museums, and zoos.
  • Close-contact businesses: also remain closed. This includes gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, and tattoo parlors.
  • Gun Permits: the state has extended the time period that law enforcement has to complete a background for a gun permit from seven days to 30 days.
  • Telemedicine: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care.
  • Houses of worship: Places of worship are allowed to reopen for groups of five only. Drive-in services are allowed as long as people remain in their cars.The Governor announced on May 20th that houses of worship, when they begin reopening the weekend of May 30th, will be limited to 25% of their overall capacity. This decision was made in consultation with faith leaders across Rhode Island. 
  • Funerals: are allowed to have a maximum of 10 people, as long as they are appropriately socially distanced.
  • Child Care: centers remain closed, goal is for them to reopen on June 1st.
  • Masks: Any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering unless doing so would damage the person’s health. No person under two years of age or any person whose health would be damaged thereby shall be required to wear a face covering. Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people. Face coverings shall also not be required of those who are developmentally unable to comply, including young children who may not be able to effectively wear a mask.

COVID-19: Live Blogs, Updates, & Info

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