Providence, RI – Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health hosted a press briefing at 1 pm on Wednesday, July 29th to provide an update on COVID-19 in Rhode Island.

Press Briefing Recap

Gov: Infections have climbed recently due to social gatherings and a lack of masking up. Gov. says “we’re partying too much. Social gatherings are too large and people aren’t wearing their masks’. Gov. says RIDOH has traced cases back to big parties.

Gov: Executive order for Phase 3 expires today. Says the state will not move forward to Phase 4 yet because of a high R-value (Rate of Spread). Phase 3 has been extended through August 28th. The social gathering limit has been reduced from 25 to 15 for the next 30 days (indoors and outdoors). All other phase 3 guidelines remain in place for the next 30 days.

Gov: On bars – Too many problems with overcrowding at bars, says state will get tougher with enforcement. “If you’re not following the rules, we’re going to shut you down until you can safely reopen.”

Gov: On schools – five metrics will be used to determine how to reopen schools for in-person learning – statewide readiness, municipal readiness, testing readiness, supply readiness, and operation readiness. Says they will use those guidelines in each municipality – “If we don’t check those boxes, then we won’t allow it”(in-person schooling). By this Friday, plans for each school district will be published on Department of Education’s website. More information to come over the next few weeks. State will announced final recommendation regarding schools during week of August 16th. Gov. says school will begin August 31st, says they are working on what that looks like.

The Latest Data

This story is developing and will be updated.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).