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).

The Governor signed an executive order today that clarifies Rhode Island’s requirements around quarantine and isolation:

– Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 – either by a laboratory test or through symptom assessment by a healthcare provider – must self-isolate. People in isolation must stay at home and stay in isolation for at least seven days. Additionally, someone needs to be fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and all their symptoms need to have resolved completely before they can come out of isolation.

– People in quarantine must distance themselves from others, including at home. These people should monitor themselves for symptoms.

– Anyone who has been in close contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether they present symptoms or not.

RIDOH is developing regulations including a series of fines to ensure compliance with quarantine and isolation requirements. The state is also working to issue guidance for local law enforcement to ensure that quarantine and isolation directives are followed.

COVID-19 Data Update

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 277 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 1,727. RIDOH also announced eight additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. These people ranged in age from their 20s to their 90s. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 43

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. 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.

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.

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