Providence, RI – Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health hosted a press briefing at 1 pm today to provide an update on COVID-19 in Rhode Island.

YouTube video

Updates From The Press Briefing

Gov: To Rhode Islanders – If you let your guard down now, there will be more hospitalizations, suffering, and deaths. Encourages all to follow rules (wear masks, social distance, etc) so virus doesn’t surge.

Gov: Due to overcrowding, effective tomorrow, parking lot at Scarborough and Misquamicut State Beaches will be cut back and limited to 25%. In regards to other beaches, Governor says that are flexible and will make changes as they need to.

Gov: Has joined 39 other states asking President Trump to extend federal funding through the remainder of the year so the state can continue to use the National Guard.

Gov: On the economy – let’s strive to do better than the “old normal”. Encourages Rhode Islanders, business owners to be innovative, supportive, and resourceful. Says she is confident that we will rebuild the economy together. “We have rebuilt this economy before together, and we’re going to do it again”.

Gov: $200 million of Federal Stimulus money will be used to support the folks who are hurting the most – small businesses, nonprofits, those in the retail, food, and hospitality fields. More info to be posted on or by calling 521-HELP. Gov says more money and support to come to support those who need it.

The Latest Data

On Wednesday morning, Governor Raimondo provided the following preview of today’s meeting via email;

I want to give you the first look at today’s press conference, where I’ll be talking about the future of Rhode Island and how we can create a more equitable and resilient state. Below is the introduction to my vision for not just recovering from this crisis, but coming back stronger.
The full vision can be read here.
There’s a lot of talk these days about the “new normal.” You hear it all over the country. What do schools look like in the “new normal?” How do businesses succeed under the “new normal?” That phrase suggests a return to the status quo — a desire to get back to the way things used to be before COVID-19.
I see two big problems with that way of thinking. First, the economy is undergoing changes that will mean the way we live and work will be different in a post-COVID era than it was before. We need to be ready for that. And second, the economy under the “old normal” left a lot of people behind: people without a degree or credential past college who struggled to find work in a quickly-changing economy; people who worked full-time jobs and still worried about how they were going to put food on the table; and people of color, who for too long have been held back by systemic racism in institutions like health care, housing, and education. These underlying disparities in our society have existed for too long, and they were put on full display when COVID-19 hit.
Before COVID-19, Rhode Island was in the midst of an unparalleled economic comeback. We were creating good jobs, and Rhode Islanders were filling those jobs. Our unemployment rate had gone from the highest in the nation to the lowest in a generation. In the last six years, we set a new record for the most jobs ever in Rhode Island, and then we broke our own record, 14 times. During that period, we were setting records in the number of new businesses starting, in commercial real estate investments, in college graduation rates, in the number of Rhode Islanders with health insurance, and more. Then, in the blink of an eye, that progress came to a halt.
There’s no question that every American has struggled with the impacts of this crisis. But those who were hit hardest are those who could least afford it. And we have both an economic and moral imperative to rebuild our state in a way that allows every one of us — regardless of income or background — to RIse Together.
I’ll be on TV at 1 p.m. this afternoon to tell you about our plan to rebuild a stronger Rhode Island. I hope you’ll join me then.
-Gina RaimondoGovernor
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