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.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.