Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus in Rhode Island
The latest on COVID-19 in the Ocean State, including information on the two-week pause, social gathering restrictions and new case data.
Editor’s note: This story is updated frequently.
Here’s what you need to know about the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, in Rhode Island today:
RHODE ISLAND ON PAUSE
- From November 30 to December 13, the state is in a “two-week pause,” Governor Gina Raimondo says.
- Colleges, offices, bar areas and recreational venues will be closed during the two-week period
- Social gatherings are limited to your own household
- Retail settings and houses of worship are further limited
- All office workers with the ability to work from home through December 13 should do so
- the state has $5 million available for employers to facilitate remote work; details at commerceri.com
- Break rooms are closed to help prevent disease transmission between contacts in workplaces, per Raimondo
- exceptions include contractually required break rooms and cafeterias
- Raimondo encourages employers to make it easier for employees to commute to work without carpooling
All Rhode Islanders must wear cloth face coverings in public places. Click here to read the executive order
- Exceptions include people with medical conditions, developmental disabilities and very young children
- Beginning Sunday, November 8, masks are required at all times when you are with people you don’t live with.
- When outside, Rhode Islanders should carry masks or face coverings, including scarves, with them in case they come within six feet of another person.
Visit portal.ri.gov to schedule a test at the RI Convention Center; click here to find a COVID-19 respiratory clinic testing site near you
- 10 CVS pharmacies in Rhode Island offer self-swab COVID-19 tests for adults eighteen and older. Click here to make an appointment.
- Asymptomatic testing at the Convention Center is encouraged for frontline and close-contact workers, as well as all Rhode Islanders aged eighteen to thirty-nine
- Schedule a test at portal.ri.gov
Crush COVID RI App
- The contact tracing and symptom management application has a location diary feature. It’s available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
State serology sample study
- The seroprevalence — the level of COVID-19 in the general population, as measured in blood serum — among Rhode Islanders, overall, is 2.2 percent
- The study invited 5,000 randomly selected Rhode Islanders; about 10 percent participated
- For Latino Rhode Islanders, the seroprevalence is 8.2 percent
- For Black Rhode Islanders, it is 5.2 percent
- For Caucasian Rhode Islanders, it is .9 percent
- “It’s clear that a lot more work must be done when it comes to disparities,” says Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
Most RI high school students will return to remote learning beginning November 30; visit back2schoolri.com for info
- ESL learners and students with special needs in high school will continue learning in person
- Elementary schools and middle schools will continue learning in person
- The state is hosting twelve dedicated testing sites for students and teachers
- To schedule a test, call 844-857-1814.
- Testing sites will be located in Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Smithfield, Lincoln, Providence, East Providence, Cranston, West Warwick, North Kingstown, Richmond, Westerly and Newport
- The state has procured rapid testing machines for students and staff with symptoms; students and staff will also receive a PCR test and the turnaround is projected to be forty-eight hours.
- The school year is expected to last 177 days; the last day of school is June 25
- Organized youth sports are cancelled until January
Rhode Islanders traveling from RI
- Rhode Islanders who travel to states with a 5 percent or greater positivity rate should self-quarantine for two weeks upon their return home, per Governor Raimondo.
Visitors traveling to RI
- Travelers to Rhode Island from states with a 5 percent or greater positivity rate must self-quarantine for two weeks
- Visitors from high-risk states checking into Rhode Island hotels must provide a negative COVID-19 test result from the previous seventy-two hours or be able to self-quarantine for two weeks; if they can’t they will not be allowed to check in.
- International travelers coming to Rhode Island must self-quarantine for fourteen days
Rent relief options for tenants
- Renters in arrears and/or at risk of eviction should call United Way’s 211 hotline to see if they qualify for the Safe Harbor rent relief program or visit housinghelpri.com
- Financial services will be available for renters
- Both landlords and tenants must agree to participate
RIHavens.com offers significantly reduced hotel room options for first responders and front line workers
- “If you are a front line health care worker, a first responder — whatever reason you don’t feel it’s safe to live in your house…. you can go to RIHavens.com,” said Governor Raimondo on April 15.
The WeR1 RI Fund provides direct cash assistance to Rhode Islanders unable to benefit from public programs
- The goal is to raise $3 million to provide families in need with $400 debit cards
- Text WeR1 to 27126 to donate
CORONAVIRUS FAST FACTS
- To prevent infection, wash your hands for twenty seconds with soap and warm water
- Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath and lost of taste and/or smell
- Visit the Rhode Island COVID-19 self-checker at covidselfchecker.ri.gov for guidance on making coronavirus-related health care decisions based on CDC guidelines
- If you’re showing symptoms, call your health care provider first; if you don’t have one, contact a nearby urgent care.
- Call 401-222-8022 with general questions about COVID-19 or visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website for the latest information
- Call Rhode Island’s BH Link at 401-414-5465 if you need mental health help or are struggling with substance abuse; for children, call Kids’ Link at 1-855-543-5465
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- Read RI Poet Laureate Tina Cane’s Inspiring New Poem, “Shelter in Place”
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