Governor Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott will hold 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.

Press Briefing – Video

Press Briefing – Updates

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Gov: Cases are still not in a decline, but “we’ll take the plateau”.

Gov: Reminder Stay At Home Order until May 8th. “Obey the order until May 8th so we can begin reopening our economy on May 9th”.

Gov: When we begin Phase I (hopefully on May 9th) we will be reopening some parks, include Lincoln Woods, Fort Adams . Full list to be published on DEM later today. Parks will be opened with increased enforcement, reduced parking capacity. The name of the game in Phase I is “take it easy”. Will still have to remain six feet apart, no pickup sports games. More restriction will be relaxed in Phase II. No beaches will reopen in Phase I, that will come in Phase II (hopefully by Memorial Day). There will be new regulations on parking, pavillions, etc.

Gov: Childcare – DHS is asking child care providers to submit reopening plans by May 22nd for a target reopening date of June 1st. There will be new restrictions – reduced group sizes of 10 or fewer, not mixing of groups of kids.

Gov: On Childcare – “We will be temporarily raising the rates of childcare providers in the C-Cap Program”. Governor notes that this is going to be a tall order a lot on the providers. It’s going to come with additional costs.

Gov: Elective and non critical procedures and surgery – Expect to make an announcement next week or week after that some hospitals can begin these again “very very soon”.

Gov: Debt collectors – Not allowed to seize federal stimulus checks from Rhode Islanders.

Director of Health: On the 13 new deaths, one was in 30s, one in 50s, four in their 70s, five in their 80s, one in their 90s, and one older than 100.

Director of Health: There is a slight decrease in hospitalizations but there continues to be a decrease in people in the ICU and on ventilators.

Director of Health: It’s critical Rhode Islanders stay connected to healthcare providers, that pregnant women get prenatal care, that children and adults receive vaccinations.

What’s Up Newp Asked

Gov., Yesterday during the press conference you said that when schools reopen it would likely be with smaller class sizes. With many school districts facing huge budget issues, how can they afford the personnel to allow for smaller class sizes? Additional state aid?

The Governor responded by saying “it’s all to be determined”. She’s trying to get thru Phase I, “reopening schools is like Phase III or IV” and she will have much more to say about this later. “It’s going to be a whole new day when we reopen”.

The latest local data

May 1st: 341 new positive cases (total now 8,962), 13 new COVID-19 associated fatalities (total now 279), 352 hospitalized, 76 currently in ICU, 51 currently on a ventilator.

In Newport County – 48 in Tiverton, 37 in Newport, 28 in Middletown, 24 in Portsmouth, 10 in Little Compton, and 8 in Jamestown.

Press Release

Plan Announced for Phased Reopening of Parks; RIDOH Updates COVID-19 Data

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. 

Those updates included the announcement that the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM)

will be reopening state parks in a graduated manner during the first phase of reopening Rhode Island’s economy. While DEM will be staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds, many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to public health guidance on gathering and social distancing. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase will involve the saltwater beaches. DEM’s announcement is available online.

COVID-19 Data Update 

Rhode Island has 341 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 8,962. Rhode Island also has 13 new fatalities to announce. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 279. 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 www.RIDelivers.com [ridelivers.com] 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 www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, 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.

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