Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health hosted a press briefing to provide an update on COVID-19 in Rhode Island at 1 pm on Thursday, May 21st.

Updates from the press briefing

Gov: At tomorrow’s 1 pm press briefing, she will discuss roll out of Phase II.

Gov: 25,000 Rhode Islanders have downloaded CRUSH COVID RI app in the last 48 hours. Governor asks Rhode Islanders to download and use it.

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Gov: Summer Camp – Full guidelines for summer camps, which are expected to be allowed to reopen on June 29, will be posted on reopeningri.com this afternoon.

Gov: On congregate care settings – goal is to test every resident in every home every 7 to 10 days.

More – Press Release from the Governor

Governor Raimondo, Dr. Alexander-Scott Provide Update on the State’s Response to COVID-19

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. 

  • Summer camps and youth programs: Today the Governor announced new regulations and guidelines for summer camp and summer youth programs. These programs will allowed to begin in-person operations starting June 29. For a full list of regulations and guidance, visit reopeningRI.com. 
  • Congregate Setting Support Team: At the end of April, the state launched a new Congregate Setting Support Team to support nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and group homes in their response to COVID-19. The team includes personnel from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), RIDOH, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH), the Department of Labor and Training (DLT), the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and the Rhode Island National Guard. In the past three weeks, they have been contacted by 44 different homes representing more than 3,000 Rhode Islanders. In each of these requests for assistance, a Rapid Needs Assessment was performed by a clinical team member. In addition, the team has helped congregate care facilities implement a number of COVID-19 safeguards. 

COVID-19 Data Update 

RIDOH announced 189 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 13,571. RIDOH also announced 18 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 556. 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.
  • 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.

The Latest Data

May 21: RIDOH reports today that there are 189 new positive cases (total now 13,571), 18 new associated deaths (total now 556), 254 people currently hospitalized (56 in ICU, 41 on ventilator).

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