Above: Gov. Raimondo gives her daily daily coronavirus update at the State House, flanked by Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott and Brett Smiley. Pool photo: Sandor Bodo / Providence Journal
And start dreaming about state beaches, parks open again … phased opening, that is.
By Elizabeth F. McNamara
Somehow, the caseload in Rhode Island continues to grow but the hospitalization numbers are holding steady. On Wednesday, the state had 365 new cases of COVID-19, and 10 deaths. The number of people with coronavirus in the
hospital was 270, with 71 people in the ICU and 44 people on ventilators. One week ago, there were 245 people in the hospital, 61 in the ICU and 43 on ventilators.
In East Greenwich, there are 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
In honor of Earth Day, Gov. Gina Raimondo said she has directed Dept. of Environmental Management head Janet Coit to prepare a “phased” reopening of state beaches and parks, which have been closed since April 3. Raimondo said she hoped to unveil that plan next week, reiterating that the parks and beaches remain closed for now.
“We will be reopening them in a staged fashion, slowly, with new restrictions, incrementally,” she said. “This gives me hope. It’s exciting to think about.”
She also talked about reentry into normal life and how everyone will need to be patient but people 60 and older, as well as people with underlying health conditions, will need to be more patient.
“I want people who are in that older age group to come to terms with the fact that your reentry will be slower … with additional regulations,” she said. “I’m hammering on the 60 and above because many many people between 60 and 70 work. That’s great … [but] we want to have you work at home wherever possible.”
Raimondo added, “The reality is, the older you are, the worse this disease is for you.” She urged employers to start thinking about how they will handle older employees.”
Raimondo also announced a new “self-checker” tool for people wondering if their symptoms match COVID-19. Rhode Island, working with Diagnostic Robotics, has launched an online tool that asks a series of questions related to symptoms, potential exposures, and other COVID-19 risk factors to help users decide if they should seek testing. Find the self-checker site HERE.
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