coronavirus in Rhode Island

Governor Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott held their daily coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) press briefing today at 1 pm.

What’s Up Newp will carry it live, and provide updates, as it happens below.

Video of Press Briefing

Updates from Press Briefing

Gov: Upcoming press briefing will be at 1 pm, with the exception of Monday when it will be at 3 pm.

Gov: Stay informed, things will change rapidly as we toward reopening.

Gov: Says she’s worried about the weekend because nice weather may draw people out into crowds. Says Stay At Home Order will not be lifted on May 8th if everyone rushes out this weekend.

Gov: On modeling – has two goals 1) help us understand how bad things could be 2) use them to try to figure out where we might be right now. Governor explains purpose of modeling. She said the first models showed devastating death toll, but staying at home and social distancing helped avoid that projections. Another model trajectory showed hospitals would’ve been overwhelmed but they weren’t. Visual Governor talked about will be available on Rhode Island Department of Health’s data page soon.

Gov: Data shows spike in hospital admissions approximately two weeks after Easter/Passover. Believes it may be because people gathered/didn’t follow social distancing. Gov. says in two weeks, if we see a spike, it could be because people went out this weekend and didn’t follow social distancing guidelines.

Gov: Two directions we could go from here over next two weeks – gradually decreasing decline or more traditional bell curve. She says they are not exactly sure which will happening, but not likely to go up again in short term. Says she is taking a gradual approach to reopen the economy because o the potential impacts it will have.

Gov: Announced Housing Help RI, a $1.5 million initiative to provide emergency rental assistance for low-income renters who have been impacted by COVID-19. Grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments. Available now. Go to or call 2-1-1.

Director of Health: If you’re going to be outside or to run an essential errand, make sure you’re maintaining social distance, wearing face covering, washing hands.

Director of Health: On 17 new deaths, one in 40s, one in 50s, two in 60s, five in 70s, four in 80s, four in 90s.

The Latest Local Data

May 2nd: 327 new positive cases (total now 9,289), 17 new associated fatalities (total now 296), 333 currently hospitalized, 80 currently in ICU, 54 on ventilator.

Press Release

State Unveils New Models, Rental Assistance Available for Low-Income Rhode Islanders

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), provided updates on Rhode Island’s response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) today. 

  • Modeling: Today the state released two new models that show COVID-19’s trajectory in Rhode Island over the past month and potential scenarios for the next two weeks regarding hospitalizations. (The models are at the bottom of this page.) 

The models indicate two significant shifts in the hospitalization rate in Rhode Island. The growth curve shifted around April 2nd, two weeks after the state’s first business closures (for restaurants and bars) were announced. The growth curve shifted again around April 14th from more linear growth to growth that is closer to a plateau. This second shift happened roughly two weeks after a stay-at-home order was issued for Rhode Island. The Governor and Dr. Alexander-Scott spoke about two possible scenarios for the next two weeks: one a gradually decreasing plateau, the other a more traditional bell curve.

  • Rental assistance: Rhode Island has made $1.5 million in emergency rental assistance available to low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other fees. Requirement information and details are available at or by calling 211.  

COVID-19 Data Update 

Rhode Island has 327 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 9,289. Rhode Island also has 17 new fatalities to announce. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 296. 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...