Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provided an update on Rhode Island's response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Starting Monday, May 18th, restaurants will be able to begin limited outdoor dining in addition to their take-out, delivery, and drive-through operations. Restaurants will be required to operate under the following new regulations, among others:
• Dining will be by reservation only and groups may not exceed five people, in accordance with guidance on social gathering. • Tables must be at least eight feet apart or separated by barriers, and no more than 20 tables will be allowed in any outdoor space. • One-time-use paper menus, digital menus, or chalkboard menus will be recommended. • Condiments and utensils will either be single-use or sanitized between uses. • All high-traffic areas will have to be frequently cleaned. Tables and chairs will be sanitized in between parties. • All employees must wear face coverings, and all customers must wear face coverings when they are not eating. • Self-service food stations like buffets and salad bars will be prohibited. • Cashless and contactless payment methods will be encouraged. Pens and payment stations will be frequently cleaned. • For now, no valet services will be allowed. Customers will be asked to park their own cars.
The complete guidance will be available tonight on ReopeningRI.com.
COVID-19 Data Update RIDOH announced 176 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island's case count to 11,450. RIDOH also announced eight new COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island's number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 430. 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. • 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.