Loads of Info Coming Out This Week on Phase 2 Specifics 

by | May 26, 2020

Raimondo highlighted the different places to receive information for businesses while reopening their economy and urged everyone to continue planning, giving feedback and staying updated.  

By Hope McKinney

There were 73 new COVID-19 cases Friday – the first time the state has seen a less than triple digit increase since March – for a total of 15,021. There were 13 new deaths, bringing that total to 634. Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said the positive cases are on the lower side because of Memorial Day and the fact that the Twin Rivers site was closed on Monday and other sites were slower, which is what they expected. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 226; this number has remained steady, according to Alexander-Scott. East Greenwich had 69 confirmed cases (a figure last updated May 24). 

At Gov. Gina Raimondo’s press conference Tuesday, she said there will be more information about the reopening through Facebook “town halls” for various businesses.  

On June 1, almost every part of the state’s economy will be able to reopen, including all beaches. 

This week, the state Dept. of Commerce will host a session for general businesses and offices workers, a session for gyms, a session for restaurants, and a session for personal services on the department’s Facebook page. For a complete listing of these events and times, you can go to their page HERE.

“Take this week to get organized, figure out what your business needs and let us know if we can help you,” Raimondo said.

Additional information can be found at www.commerceri.com, through their small business hotline at (401)-521-HELP and www.ReopeningRI.com. 

Raimondo said they want to receive more feedback before providing additional information for hair salons and barbers. This will happen in about a day or two.  

They will also provide more information about wearing masks in gyms in a day or two.  

“Some gym owners want to do that,” she said. “Others feel they can do a good job keeping people sufficiently apart. What we’re trying to do is strike a balance between keeping everybody safe but not giving businesses such a rigid set of rules that’ll be hard for them to follow.”

In response to teachers facing layoffs and program cuts in some communities, Raimondo acknowledged the gratitude these teachers deserve in such unprecedented times and emphasized the damage the state will suffer if they don’t get further federal stimulus from Congress. 

“If we don’t get more money from Congress, everything’s on the table,” Raimondo said. “My view would be that’s a last resort but I want to be very clear with people – an $8 million deficit is like nothing the state’s ever seen before and the choices we’ll have to make will just be unprecedented.”

During the question about the possible use by someone of a phone number given when making a restaurant reservation, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said 

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Dept. of Health, said restaurant patrons who give phone numbers to restaurants should feel safe in doing so. If someone from a restaurant used the information to contact a patron afterwards, that should be reported to the Dept. of Health, she said. 

And Raimondo encouraged communities who have a smaller density to maintain the social distancing guidelines, as an outbreak in one community can lead to a shutdown of the entire state.  

“Just because you might live in a community which is less dense and less affected doesn’t mean you can go out without your mask, break the rules and not care about what’s happening in these other communities,” she urged. 

Gov. Raimondo’s press conference Wednesday will begin at 2:30 p.m. You can find it on the governor’s Facebook page HERE.


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