Governor Gina Raimondo announced Sunday afternoon that Rhode Island saw its largest one day increase in COVID-19 with 17 news caes. Rhode Island now has 83 cases.
Raimondo has implored all Rhode Islanders to respect the directive to practice social distancing and to not gather in groups of more than ten. This includes groups out walking, at parks, at the beach, on Newport’s Cliff Walk etc.
Governor Raimondo also ordered all who can work from home to work from home. Accountants, lawyers, human resources, financial services etc. “These are not requests. These are directives.” The state will also start conducting spot checks of businesses and manufacturers to ensure that they are following proper rules for distance between employees.
Governor Raimondo also ordered the closing of “recreation and entertainment facilities” including theaters, cinemas, spas, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlors effective Monday at 5pm.
Raimondo says the US Army Corps will come to Rhode Island to help ready buildings to provide surge capacity for hospitals.
Raimondo also said she will make an announcement on Monday regarding interstate travel for those who wish to travel home from places such as Florida.
Key messages for the public
If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.
Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).
Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)
Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available (March 16th – March 20th) for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.
Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.
People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.
Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH is reiterating CDC’s guidance for people older than 60 years of age:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.
Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
More information is available from CDC.
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. The Hotline will be staffed this weekend from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)
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. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.