coronavirus in Rhode Island

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

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.

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.