Date: April 16, 2020
Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), made several announcements today about the state's response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
• Modeling: The Governor unveiled the state's modeling projection for coronavirus hospitalizations through mid-May. The model can be found on RIDOH's website. • EmployRI: The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Skills for Rhode Island's Future and Commerce have re-launched a state job-seeking platform to help connect Rhode Islanders with nearly 2,000 open jobs. Many of the jobs posted are frontline positions in the fight against COVID-19. Jobseekers can visit www.EmployRI.org to find jobs as well as other important resources including information on unemployment insurance, resume tips and other COVID-19 updates. Employers looking to hire quickly can post jobs on EmployRI for free and dedicated specialists at SkillsRI will facilitate matches with qualified candidates. • COVID-19 Specialty Nursing Home: To support Rhode Island's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oak Hill Center in Pawtucket is being established as a COVID-19 Specialty Nursing Home. Oak Hill Center will be a central facility to accept patients who are being discharged from the hospital and who are COVID-19 positive but no longer require acute-level care. This strategy allows COVID-19 positive patients leaving the hospital to receive specialized rehabilitation and step-down, post-acute care while reserving hospital beds for patients who need acute-level care. Current Oak Hill Center residents who do not have COVID-19 symptoms will be located in a separate unit of the facility. Residents at other nursing homes who have COVID-19 will remain at their current nursing homes.
COVID-19 Data Update Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 309 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island's count to 3,838. RIDOH also announced 18 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Seven people were in their 70s, seven people were in their 80s, and four people were in their 90s. Rhode Island's number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 105. A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online.
Key messages for the public • Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare). • The people who live with that person and who have been in direct close contact with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days after the last day that that person was in isolation. Direct close contact means being within approximately 6 feet of a person for a prolonged period. • Help is available for people living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Visit www.RIDelivers.com for connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups. People can also call 2-1-1. • When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas. • 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 going to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms). • 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). • 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. o Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same. o 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. o Cough or sneeze into your elbow. o Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care. o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.