Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), will be available tomorrow (March 5th) at 10:30 a.m. in Conference Room 2A at the Department of Administration (1 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908) to provide updates on Rhode Island's response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A Spanish interpreter will be available.
- Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 2
This number does not include a Massachusetts resident who the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported as having a presumptive positive test result. This individual went on the Saint Raphael Academy trip to Italy in mid-February.
- Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories: 11
- Number of people for whom tests are pending: 7
- Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island because they had direct contact with a person with COVID-19: approximately 200 (RIDOH is sharing an approximate number because this number is subject to change regularly)
Testing in Rhode Island is being done at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories. Confirmatory testing is being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Results are considered 'presumptive' if they still need to be confirmed by the CDC.
Key messages for the public
- Although Rhode Island has the testing capacity it needs, people without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC. - If you were with someone who does not have symptoms, the risk of transmission is very low. - There are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Rhode Island, such as the flu and the common cold. Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19. - People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 (or have traveled to country with community transmission, such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan). - Someone is considered a contact if they have had direct, face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19. - People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). - People with general questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public. - Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same. Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands. Stay home from work or school if you are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods. Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.