Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provided updates on Rhode Island's response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) today.
The Governor unveiled her framework for safely reopening Rhode Island's economy. The plan consists of three phases:
• Phase 1 - Testing the waters: In the first phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to seeing friends and family again. The stay at home order will be lifted, but social gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will be able to go to work and to get food or medicine. But in accordance with federal public health guidance, vulnerable individuals will be strongly encouraged to otherwise stay home. Masks, vigilant hand-washing, and increased cleaning must remain in place. And everyone who can work from home should still work from home. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart. • Phase 2 - Navigating our way: In the second phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to more businesses reopening and restrictions being further relaxed. Expanded childcare options will be available under strict public health guidelines. More restaurants, retail and close-contact businesses like hair and nail salons may open. Additional recreational options will likely return, but restrictions will remain. Social gathering limits will increase to 15 people. Guidance for older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will remain unchanged from phase one. Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place. Offices will ease capacity restrictions allowing more people to come in, but many people will still work from home. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart. • Phase 3 - Picking up speed: In the third phase, Rhode Islanders can look forward to seeing more of their families and friends. Social gatherings will be limited to 50 people. Offices, restaurants, retail and other businesses will lift some of the tightest restrictions to allow more people in at one time but will need to operate under long-term safety guidelines. Older adults (people 65 and older) and those with underlying health conditions will no longer be strongly encouraged to stay home. These individuals will be reminded to exercise significant caution in public. Masks, vigilant hand-washing and increased cleaning must remain in place. Working from home will still be encouraged where possible but more people will return to the workplace. All activities must account for strong social distancing guidelines of remaining 6-feet apart.
For more details, visit ReopeningRI.com.
COVID-19 Data Update Rhode Island has 269 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island's count to 7,708. RIDOH also announced seven additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island's number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 233. 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 [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.