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Governor, Dr. Alexander-Scott Announce New Travel Restrictions, Help for Small Businesses

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today made several announcements about the state's response to the COVID-19 crisis.

- Travel from New York: Today the Governor signed an executive order mandating that anyone who has traveled to New York by any form of transportation must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island. This applies to anyone who has been in New York in the past 14 days and going forward.

- Small business support: Rhode Island small business owners can now receive 45 minutes of free tech support via teleconference or over the phone. This service has been coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce and is being staffed by volunteers from some of Rhode Island's leading tech companies. Starting tomorrow, these experts will be available to help small business owners set up equipment to work from home, shift to online meetings and help with document management and security. Rhode Islanders can visit Commerce's website or call 521-HELP to get started.

The Governor also reassured Rhode Islanders that contact information collected from travelers in order to monitor quarantining will not be used for any purpose or be shared with any state or federal agency other than the Department of Health.

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 33 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island's case count to 165.

Data

- Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 165

- Updated number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories as of 3/25 (this is an amendment to yesterday's press release): 1,262

- Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories as of 3/26: 1,366

- Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH's State Health Laboratories: 138

- Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 2,250

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex:

- Females: 78

- Males: 87

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

- 0-19: 6

- 20-29: 28

- 30-39: 30

- 40-49: 30

- 50-59: 38

- 60-69: 19

- 70-79: 12

- 80-89: 0

- 90 and older: 2

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by city/town of residence:

- Barrington fewer than 5

- Bristol fewer than 5

- Burrillville fewer than 5

- Central Falls fewer than 5

- Charlestown 0

- Coventry fewer than 5

- Cranston 18

- Cumberland 5

- East Greenwich 0

- East Providence 9

- Exeter 0

- Foster fewer than 5

- Glocester 0

- Hopkinton fewer than 5

- Jamestown fewer than 5

- Johnston 6

- Lincoln fewer than 5

- Little Compton 0

- Middletown 6

- Narragansett fewer than 5

- New Shoreham 0

- Newport 5

- North Kingstown fewer than 5

- North Providence fewer than 5

- North Smithfield fewer than 5

- Pawtucket 7

- Portsmouth fewer than 5

- Providence 51

- Richmond 0

- Scituate fewer than 5

- Smithfield fewer than 5

- South Kingstown 7

- Tiverton 0

- Warren fewer than 5

- Warwick 8

- West Greenwich 0

- West Warwick fewer than 5

- Westerly fewer than 5

- Woonsocket fewer than 5

Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized: - 23

Data notes:

- As the volume of cases increases, RIDOH may move to providing abbreviated data updates daily and more detailed data updates weekly.

- The number of people in quarantine has decreased because the quarantine periods for two large groups ended.

- City and town numbers between 1 and 4 are listed as "fewer than five" for patient privacy reasons.

- The number of COVID-19 patients in a city or town should not be used to draw any conclusions about relative risk in different cities and towns. All Rhode Islanders should continue to take all the COVID-19 precautions that have been shared by RIDOH.

- Hospital laboratories and private laboratories are now testing for COVID-19. The number of positives reported above includes all positives from all laboratories for Rhode Islanders. However, the number of negative and pending test results are only for RIDOH's State Health Laboratories. A unified data collection process for negative and pending test results is being developed. (Individual patients are being notified directly by their healthcare providers of negative test results.)

Key messages for the public

- If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.

- Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).

- Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)

- Due to the closure of schools, free "Grab and Go" meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.

- Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.

- People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.

- 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). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.

- Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH is reiterating CDC's guidance for people older than 60 years of age:

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.

Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

More information is available from CDC.

People with general, non-medical 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. The Hotline will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)

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 hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

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.

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