By Elizabeth F. McNamara
For the first time during the COVID-19 crisis, Rhode Island has seen double-digit new cases and hospitalizations – 116 new cases and 103 in the hospital. Gov. Gina Raimondo also announced 8 more people had died.
With the vast expansion of the state’s testing capability this past week, the numbers of confirmed cases will only increase.
“I’m fully expecting that number to shoot up so don’t be alarmed,” Raimondo said during her press briefing at the State House Sunday. “We’re probably several weeks away from our peak but we’re climbing up the curve.”
RI Dept. of Health’s James McDonald said of the eight people who died, five were women and three were men aged from their 60s to their 90s. Seven of them were nursing home residents. Of those in the hospital, 33 are in intensive care with 31 of those on ventilators. Find all the data HERE.
Raimondo again encouraged any Rhode Islanders with symptoms to seek a test (call your doctor or an urgent care center to get an appointment at one of the state’s mobile testing sites). She urged those who are undocumented to be tested too, and tried to allay their fears of those in uniform by saying the National Guard running the testing sites are not immigration officials.
“Now isn’t the time for people to be isolated and afraid,” she said. “It’s in everyone’s interest to get everyone tested.”
Raimondo said workers in retail settings should be wearing face coverings just as everyone is now being encouraged to do when out public. Dr. McDonald said gloves, however, were not practical in a lot of retail settings. Better, he said, would be to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer between customers.
The governor also again said there were too many people at big box retail stores and that she’d be driving around the state Sunday checking out stores to see how crowded they are. She encouraged retailers to consider tighter measures, such as one-way aisles. But she said the biggest burden was on the shoppers themselves.
“Go to the grocery store once a week; buy what you need … get in and out,” she said. She said she would consider ordering tighter restrictions depending on the number of new cases and people in the hospital.
In East Greenwich, the number of cases remains fewer than five. Here are the latest restrictions from Town Manager Andrew Nota:
- Based on the Governor’s travel and gathering size restrictions, all Town and School parks and grounds will have limited accessibility, to only those individuals that can walk or bicycle to those areas. Transportation in any other form for non-essential movement is prohibited. Gathering at any Town or School field, trail system, athletic complex or park area is prohibited in a group larger than 5.
- Curbside trash collection of bulky items including but not limited to appliances and mattresses AND yard waste is SUSPENDED until further notice.
- Transfer station open Saturdays from 8AM to 2PM for residents dropping off trash and recycling materials ONLY (no yard waste will be accepted).
- Yard waste may be taken to the Highway Garage located at 3 Bear Swamp Road on Tuesday – Saturday from 8AM to 2PM.
- Trash and recycling collection will remain on its regular schedule for pickup.
Find the town’s full update on municipal services HERE.
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