Rhode Island Gov Dan McKee today said the state may consider imposing some restrictions on travelers coming to Rhode Island from states with high COVID rates. The governor was appearing on WBLQ’s morning show, hosted by Frank Prosnitz.

The governor said it was possible the state would consider “imposing a quarantine on travel,” as COVID cases surge in parts of the country. McKee also said at this time he’s not considering a mask mandate.

Rhode Island, and all New England, have among the lowest COVID rates in the country, according to the Mayo Clinic. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine all have an average COVID rate of four per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire’s average is three per 100,000 and Vermont’s is two per 100,000. Other states with low rates per 100,000 include Michigan (three), Minnesota (four), South Dakota (two), North Dakota (four), and Wisconsin (five).

Meanwhile, states that resisted imposing any restrictions during the pandemic and remain among the least vaccinated, are leading the nation in COVID cases, with Florida registering 53 cases per 100,000 residents, Arkansas (52), Missouri (45), and Louisiana (42), according to the Mayo Clinic,.

McKee said nearly 80 percent of Rhode Island adults have had at least one COVID vaccination, compared to 69 percent of adults throughout the country, according to the CDC.

The governor also signed legislation that extends restaurants’ ability to offer outdoor dining, which McKee said he’d like to see become permanent. 

He also mentioned how small businesses have “struggled” during the pandemic, and that he’s now developing his “top 10 list of things we can do to help small businesses” that will likely lead to budget recommendations in his proposed 2022-2023 state budget. 

McKee said he expects some adjustment to the state’s $400 minimum corporate tax and addressing the “extraordinary rate on late (corporate tax) payments of 18 percent,” are likely to be included on his list.

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.