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Raimondo Provides Testing Update, New Guidance for Businesses

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today provided an update on the state of COVID-19 testing in Rhode Island and announced an ambitious goal to test 10,000 Rhode Islanders a day by July.

She also outlined the state's comprehensive testing strategy:

Ensure rapid testing of all symptomatic people. This will involve expanding the number of testing sites in Rhode Island as well as the state's mobile testing capacity. React quickly to outbreaks. The plan calls for an outbreak response team on the ground within four hours of multiple cases discovered in places like congregate care settings, workplaces, and other high-density areas. This team will also conduct rapid testing of any contacts who may have been exposed. Create an early warning system by testing groups of asymptomatic individuals. The state needs to be able to test comprehensively in high-risk settings like nursing homes or group homes. The state will also perform cyclical testing for other high-risk populations, such as healthcare workers and first responders. Early warning testing sites will be set up at high-contact workplaces and other community settings. The state will work with schools, universities, and private sector partners to set up early warning testing for their own populations. And representative sampling will allow the state to better understand community spread.

Regulations for businesses in Phase 1 are now available on www.ReopeningRI.com. Businesses will be required to certify that they've met a checklist of requirements. That includes developing a COVID-19 plan explaining how the requirements will be met and how potential cases or outbreaks would be handled in coordination with the Department of Health. Visit Visit www.ReopeningRI.com to learn more.

COVID-19 Data Update The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced 272 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island's case count to 10,205. Rhode RIDOH also announced 15 new COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island's number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 370. 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 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.

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