Gov. Gina Raimondo, noting the improved picture regarding COVID-19 transmissions, lifted the state’s three-week “pause” Friday.
“For those of you who struggled during the pause, I want to thank you,” she said during her briefing Friday. “It was a necessary thing to do but it’s effective.”
Referring to the state Dept. of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard (HERE), Raimondo said the state was starting to see numbers turn around and head in the right direction. “For the first time in two months, all three arrows are pointing down,” she said. “The R value is now about 1 [transmission per positive case] – we had been in a place where each person was infecting 2 or 3 people.”
Of course, the Christmas holidays are upon us and transmission rates rose after the Thanksgiving weekend. Raimondo said the lifting of the pause signaled a “slow dial-up” of the economy. Looking at the final days of December, she said, “The name of the game now is protect your household, stick with your household. Continue to limit your social gatherings with your household.”
During the question and answer period, Raimondo added, “We are definitely not out of the woods.” But, she said, with the vaccine starting to roll out and hugely expanded testing, “I felt it was appropriate to slowly dial up.”
Following the governor’s announcement, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League announced practices could begin Jan. 4 for low- and moderate-risk sports, including basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics, indoor track and field, and swimming.