Updates on COVID-19 in Rhode Island from the Governor and RIDOH

Like everyone in the United States, we at the Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island are staying up-to-date on the latest news concerning COVID-19 and measures to follow from the federal government, Rhode Island state government, and health organizations. Please read the following press release from Governor Raimondo and the RIDOH.

Governor, RIDOH Provide Updates on State Actions During COVID-19 Crisis

March 29, 2020

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today made several announcements about the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

  • Stay At Home: The Governor has issued a stay-at-home order until April 13. This means that all Rhode Islanders should stay home unless getting food, medicine, gas, or going to work.
  • Gatherings: Starting immediately, all gatherings of more than 5 people are banned. Individuals should be interacting with the same people every day to minimize the risk of spread. This order does not apply to healthcare workers in a workplace setting, public transportation or office buildings. However, people must practice social distancing at all times.
  • Travelers: Starting immediately, any person coming to Rhode Island by any mode of transportation after visiting another state for a non-work-related purpose must self-quarantine for 14 days. This restriction will not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers. MORE ON SELF-QUARANTINE
  • Commuters: Those who are able to work from home should do so, and anyone commuting in and out of the state for work should remain in their home when not at work.MORE ON SELF-QUARANTINE
  • Businesses: Effective March 30th, all non-critical retail businesses must shut down their stores. This includes clothing stores and gift shops. A full list of businesses that must close their in-person operations can be found here. This does not impact restaurants or bars, which are still allowed to open for takeout or delivery only.
  • Food Establishments: Through April 13th, 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.)
  • All recreation and entertainment facilities as well as close-contact businesses are closed. This includes theaters, cinemas, sporting events, bowling alleys, gyms, fitness centers, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors.

Data Updates

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 408
  • Number of people who had negative test results: 3,187
  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized: 41
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 1,000
  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 associated fatalities: 4

Key Messages to 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 for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available here.
  • 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, nonmedical questions about COVID-19 can visit gov, 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.

Please visit ri.gov for more information.

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