Governor Raimondo and the Department of Health host their daily COVID-19 press briefing today at 1 pm.

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Press Briefing Updates

Gov: Programming – press briefing at 1 pm on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 2:30 pm on Wednesday.

Gov: On beaches – On Memorial Day, state will be opening East Matunuck State Beach and Scarborough State Beach. Parking spots and capacity will be limited. Bathrooms, showers, concessions will be closed. Will be free admission. “It is our hope to open all beaches at start of Phase 2”.

Gov: All state parks are now open.

Gov: Commerce RI hosting a Facebook town hall today at 2:30 pm for hair salons/barbers. IT will detail how phase two will look for these businesses.

Gov: Targeting reopening houses of worship for in-person faith services the weekend of May 30th. Will have restrictions on number of people in attendance, social distancing, etc.

Gov: On equity – Gove has asned RIEOHHS Secretary Womazetta Jones to lead a working group on improving economic/health equity in RI.

Gov: Reminder that presidential primary will take place on June 2nd.

Director of Health: On 7 new deaths – one in 50s, one in 60s, four in 80s, one in 90s.

More Info

Raimondo Announces Limited Beach Reopening on Memorial Day,

Updated Guidance for Churches and Hair Salons

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

  • State Beaches: East Matunuck State Beach and Scarborough State Beach will reopen on Memorial Day, May 25th, in a limited capacity. Bathrooms and concessions will be closed, and reduced parking will be enforced. The reopening of all beaches, including bathrooms and concessions, is planned for the beginning of Phase 2. 
  • Churches: The state is targeting allowing in-person faith services the weekend of May 30th. Guidelines will be available on later this week. 
  • Hairdressers: The state is in the process of developing guidelines for hair salons and barbershops to begin reopening in Phase 2. Today the Governor announced that Rhode Island and Connecticut are coordinating timelines for reopening these businesses in early June. 

COVID-19 Data Update 

RIDOH announced 121 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 12,795. RIDOH also announced seven new COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 506. 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.
  • 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.

The Latest Data

May 18th – RIDOH reports today that there are 121 new positive cases of COVID-19 (total now 12,795), 7 new fatalities (total now 506), 236 people currently hospitalized (62 in ICU, 46 on ventilator).

This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.