Governor Gina M. Raimondo today made several announcements today about the state's response to COVID-19.
- RI Delivers: Today the state launched RI Delivers, Rhode Island's connection to help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. This service will ensure that Rhode Islanders in quarantine will have what they need to safely remain home and monitor their symptoms. Connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups are featured at www.RIDelivers.com. For additional information, residents can call 2-1-1.
- Small Business Loan: The Governor announced that the state launching a short-term bridge loan program for restaurants and small businesses (up to 10 employees). This program was developed in partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation and the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. It's funded by $1M from Commerce's Small Business Loan Fund and $1M from Bank Newport. To be eligible, the business must have first applied for the federal SBA emergency disaster loan. Businesses can apply starting Friday through the LISC website. You can also call 521-HELP.
- Family Court: The Governor also clarified guidance regarding visitation for parents who have joint custody of their children. In all cases, Family Court order are to be followed. If either parent feels a modification to visitation is warranted, they must discuss the issue and come to a resolution together. If a resolution cannot be reached, Family Court is open to deal with emergencies only. Anyone with questions should contact a family law attorney or RI Legal Services.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced 77 new cases of COVID-19. Rhode Island now has 566 COVID-19 cases. Two additional COVID-19-associated fatalities were also announced, bringing Rhode Island's total to 10. One person was a female in her 50s. The other person was a male in his 70s. Both individuals had underlying medical conditions. A full data summary is available online: https://health.ri.gov/data/covid-19/.
Key messages for the public
- Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate. The people who live with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you need to get food or pick up medicine, call a loved one or neighbor who can run that errand for you.
- Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
- Healthcare workers should not be doing to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms).
- Through April 13th, 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.)
- 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. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
- Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness.
- 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.
- 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.
Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.