coronavirus in Rhode Island

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

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

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Updates from the press briefing

Gov: No press briefing tomorrow, but Gov. and DOH will be sharing a special Mother’s Day video on Sunday. Starting Monday, every day at 1 pm Monday thru Friday. No weekend press briefings going forward.

Gov: “Baby steps” is the name of the game for next couple of weeks. Keep your social network limited to the same five people.

Gov: Encouraging Rhode Islanders to go shopping if they need anything to support the economy. Gov says a COVID-19 checklist must be completed by businesses and signed. Retail and businesses can find regulations and a checklist on

Gov: Earlier this week PUC extended an order that all utilities can not be shut off or sent to a collection agency, thru May 31st. Both residential and non-residential water, gas, electric, and sewer customers.

Gov: Financial relief for Rhode Islanders struggling to pay off their student loans. Rhode Island has partnered with organization called Summer (an advisor for student loans), offer services to Rhode Island for free.

Gov: Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) can work with those who have loans and have lost income. Offering program that puts off thress months of loan payments.

Gov: USDA has approved Farm Fresh RI and RI Community Food Bank assembling of food boxes for those in need. Plan is to ramp up from 500 to 4,000 food boxes a week.

Gov: Family Service of Rhode Island is offering delivery of cleaning products and some other goods for those in need.

Director of Health: On 19 new associated deaths. Range in ages from 60s – 90s. 4 in 60s, 4 in 70,s 5, in 80s, and 6 in 90s,

Director: This is not the time or the weekend to be getting together with loved ones, especially at congregate care settings. Do not bring flowers or packages to assisted living homes or facilities this weekend. State is working on plans to receive packages. Full details to come.

Director: 7 staffers at RI Health have tested positive and are resting at home. Director says DOH’s building is undergoing an extra cleaning because of this. Dr. McDonald tested for COVID-19 and test came back negative.

Director: 24% of RI COVID associated deaths are ages 70-79, 32% are 80-89, and 23% 90-99.

Press Release from Governor & RIDOH

Raimondo Announces Partnership with Summer, Temporary Utility Relief 

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: Governor Raimondo announced today that Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, is partnering with Rhode Island to provide free student loan assistance for all residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As a certified B Corp, Summer is the leading resource for borrowers to simplify and save on their student debt––offering cutting-edge tools and a dedicated team of student loan experts to find, compare, and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs. Rhode Island residents can now access Summer’s digital platform free of charge to receive customized loan savings recommendations here. Summer and Rhode Island’s partnership is directed at borrowers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Utility: Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission voted to extend an order that all regulated utilities–electric, gas, water, sewer–cannot be shut off or sent to a collection agency through May 31. This applies to both residential and non-residential customers.

COVID-19 Data Update 

RIDOH announced 210 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 10,989. RIDOH also announced 19 new COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 418. 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 9th: 210 new positive cases (total positive cases now 10,989), 19 new fatalities (total now 418), 292 are currently hospitalized, 77 are currently in ICU, 56 are currently on a ventilator.

This story is developing, check back throughout the day for updates.