Governor Gina Raimondo announced Friday that Rhode Island has seen two more COVID-19 deaths bringing our total to 14. There are 54 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the Rhode Island total to 711 COVID-19 cases. 72 people are currently hospitalized.

One of the newly deceased was a nursing home resident, the other wasn’t.

The nursing home resident was a resident of Golden Crest Nursing Home in North Providence. Golden Crest has 65 cases among staff and patients with one fatality. Oak Hill Nursing Home has 60 cases with 2 fatalities.

12 nursing homes in Rhode Island have at least one case.

The are now 120 positive cases associated with nursing homes with seven deaths.

Raimondo also announced the construction of new satellite hospitals at the RI Convention Center, the Citizens Bank Building in Cranston and the former Loews in Quonsett. Raimondo said this will add 1000 hospital beds to available inventory.

Faced with a shortage of healthcare workers, Raimondo once again has called on all retired, part time or recent grads with any healthcare background at all to visit to join in the efforts to combat this virus. Many of these positions are paid.

Childcare licenses have been suspended through the month of April. “We haven’t found a solution that is safe,” Raimondo said. “I’m not giving up and hopefully I have an announcement with a fix soon.”

Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott said the state is now recommending cloth based face coverings that cover the  nose and the mouth. Dr. Alexander Scott was clear that although a person may be wearing a face covering that doesn’t mean that they are free to go out in public except for essential trips to the grocery store or to the pharmacy. Cloth based coverings should be laundered after each use and dried on high. If you must wear your covering a second time, it’s essential to wash your hands immediately after use.

“There should not be any healthcare facility that you just show up to. Testing people with any of these symptoms represents a change from prioritization of populations to a broader testing approach,” said Dr. Alexander Scott, “We encourage RIers to wear face *coverings* — not medical masks.”

Scott continued, “Do not purchase or hoard surgical masks or N95s. Wear cloth-based coverings that cover the nose and mouth and secured to the head with ties or tied to the bottom part of the face. It can be improvised from scarves, T-shirts, bandanas. Prevents release of particles.”

“We want to do our part to stop the spread of respiratory droplets and sometimes people may not be aware of symptoms or have any. This does not mean go out when you’re sick, Dr. Alexander Scott said. “These coverings are not a substitute for social distancing, washing hands, and staying home.”