Above: Gov. Gina Raimondo at the daily COVID-19 press conference at the State House Wednesday. Pool photo: Kris Craig / Providence Journal
By Elizabeth F. McNamara
There were 278 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed cases for Rhode Island to 3,529. There were 7 new deaths, 6 of them nursing home residents. According to the state Department of Health’s new data “dashboard,” there were 229 coronavirus patients in the hospital, 54 of those in intensive care units and 44 on ventilators.
The dashboard also lists the number of confirmed cases in East Greenwich at 16, one more since Tuesday. For comparison to our neighboring communities (all considerably larger than EG), Warwick has 126 cases, North Kingstown has 66, West Warwick has 46, and Coventry has 55. You can find DOH’s new data dashboard HERE.
During her daily news conference, Gov. Gina Raimondo explained what is being done to help people quarantine or isolate, both key elements to being able to reopen the economy, she said. People need to quarantine if they live with a person or have had direct close contact with a person (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or longer) who has been diagnosed with the virus, according to DOH Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
People need to isolate after they have been diagnosed with the virus.
Rhode Island can only allow people to return to work and school when we can quickly identify who’s sick or been near someone who’s sick, and get them to isolate or go into quarantine, Raimondo said Wednesday.
What we’re doing right now, the stay-at-home order and the closure of so many businesses, is what Raimondo called “a blunt instrument.” Once the state has the ability to pinpoint infections and exposures, the response can be more targeted.
To that end, she said, the “QI” team is coordinating with hotels and universities to provide rooms at a reduced rate or free for people who need to quarantine, including health care workers and first responders who do not want to risk bringing the virus to the other people who share their homes.
On Tuesday, the state unveiled a new website to help people find places to stay – RIHavens.com.
The QI team is also behind the effort to provide meals and groceries to those quarantining or unable to get to the store. Right now, Raimondo said, that effort is providing 50,000 meals a day.
“A huge shout out to municipal leaders” and Meals on Wheels, she said. “We’re the mission control but we have so many partners on the ground.
Alexander-Scott spent some time at Wednesday’s press conference reiterating information on face coverings. Raimondo and Alexander-Scott want everyone to wear masks when outside our homes, even if the governor’s new mandate only compels employees of most businesses to wear them.
For information about the face cover mandate and types of face covers you can use, check out the Dept. of Commerce website HERE. If you are really stuck, Alexander-Scott urged people to call the COVID-19 hotline (401) 222-8022 for help on how to make a face cover.
To that end, please let us know if you are making masks/covers for sale or to give away. We want to put together a guide.
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