Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health will host a press briefing to provide an update on COVID-19 in Rhode Island at 1 pm on Monday, June 29th.

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

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The Latest Rhode Island Data

RIDOH reports today 16 new positive cases (total now 16,764), 6 new fatalities (total now 946), 73 are currently hospitalized (with 15 in ICU and 14 on a ventilator).

As of June 29th*, there have been 91 positive cases in Newport, 90 in Tiverton, 51 in Middletown, 50 in Portsmouth, 13 in Little Compton, and 13 in Jamestown (*all numbers are cumulative from beginning of pandemic to today).

Updates From Press Briefing

Gov: Phase 3 will start on Tuesday, June 30th.

Gov: Changes to what she foreshadowed a week ago. Here’s the revised Phase III plans.

Here’s what the Governor had said a week ago;

Gov: On bars – Bars have been a hotspot. Bars that are able to provide seated service to groups at stable tables, have been allowed to open. However, we have not been allowing people to mingle in close quarters and be served in front of a bar. This will continue in Phase 3.

Gov: On Domestic Travel – As of Tuesday, June 30th there will be a 14-day quarantine order for anyone coming from a state that has five % or great positivity rate. Exception for rule if you’ve had a negative COVID-19 test in your home state within the past 72 hours. Gov says there are currently 23 states on this list and this list will change. List to be published later today on RIDOH website, updated weekly. Will be enforced via signs, marketing, and communications via travel. The Governor referenced this list as those states that would require quarantine.

Gov: If you are a Rhode Islander and travel to one of the states on the list, you should quarantine when you return. You could also schedule to have a test when you return, then you wouldn’t have to quarantine if you test negative. Governor encourages Rhode Islanders to stay local.

Gov. Shows data on why she’s confident moving to Phase 3.

Gov. extending following Executive Orders that are set to expire on July 3rd or 4th.

  • Mask Wearing continued to August 3rd.
  • Telehealth continued
  • Disaster Declaration continued to August 3rd
  • Firearm executive order continued (waiting period is 30 days instead of 7 days)
  • Telemedicine: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care conducted over the phone or by videoconference. Reimbursement rates for providers have to be the same as reimbursement rates for in-office visits.
  • Disaster declaration: Ensures we have access to all necessary resources to support response to this pandemic. It is more important than ever that we are prepared to respond quickly with testing, contact tracing and quarantine and isolation supports.
  • Firearm: In keeping with a request from the RI Police Chiefs’ Association we have extended the time period that law enforcement has to complete a background for a gun permit from 7 days to 30 days.
  • Quarantine: If you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, you need to quarantine for 14 days. If you have been diagnosed with COVID, you will need to isolate until you no longer have symptoms.

Director of Health: There are 73 people currently hospitalized. 15 people are in the ICU, and 14 people are on a ventilator. We have 6 new COVID-19 associated fatalities to report today. This is in addition to the 6 that were confirmed for Saturday, and the 7 that were confirmed for Sunday.

Press Release – Rhode Island to Move to Phase 3 Tuesday, Governor Extends Executive Orders

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

After announcing that Rhode Island will move into Phase 3 on Tuesday, June 30th, Governor Raimondo laid out the following guidance for Phase 3:

  • Social gatherings: Social gatherings can be no larger than 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors. For social gatherings like weddings where there is a licensed caterer involved (which makes the setting more like a restaurant) gatherings can be as large as 50 people indoors or up to 100 people outdoors.
  • Public events: Public events can be up to 125 people indoors or up to 250 people outdoors. Any organizers planning to host a group of more than 100 people will need to submit plans to Commerce RI.
  • Indoor settings: All indoor settings operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to one person per 100 square feet, provided that everyone maintains six feet of social distance. All indoor settings currently operating at a percent capacity cap can still increase up to 66% capacity provided that everyone maintains six feet of social distance. This includes places like offices and restaurants. Seated venues can open at up to 66% capacity, and free-flowing venues can open at 100 square feet per person, provided that everyone maintains six feet of social distance.
  • Travel: Rhode Island will implement a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to Rhode Island from any state with 5% or greater positivity rate. (Positivity rates are calculated using the average daily positivity rate for the last seven days.) As an exception, people will not have to quarantine if they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours. (If someone is tested after arriving in Rhode Island and gets a negative result, that person can stop quarantining.) The list of states with a percent positive rate of 5% or higher will be published today on RIDOH’s website and will be updated weekly.

The following executive orders will be extended to August 3rd:

  • Face coverings: Face coverings must be worn in public—both indoors and outdoors—whenever six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. Exceptions are made for children under two years of age and anyone whose health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering.   
  • Telemedicine: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care, and mental and behavioral health care conducted over the phone or by videoconference. Reimbursement rates for providers must be the same as reimbursement rates for in-office visits. 
  • Disaster declaration: The state of emergency declaration ensures that Rhode Island has access to all the necessary resources to support our response to this pandemic.
  • Firearms: In keeping with a request from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, the Governor has extended the time period that law enforcement has to complete a background for a gun permit from seven days to 30 days.
  • Quarantine: People must follow the State’s quarantine and isolation guidance. 

COVID-19 Data Update 

RIDOH announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 16,764. RIDOH also announced six additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 946. 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).
  • Close contacts of someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, even if they haven’t been tested, should quarantine for 14 days following contact. Close contact means being within approximately six feet of a person for a prolonged period.
  • When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering.
  • Keep your groups consistent and small.
  • 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.
  • 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.