By Hope McKinney
The state Department of Health said there were 25 new cases of COVID-19 Monday – the lowest number since late March – bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Rhode Island to 16,459. There were also 5 deaths, for a total of 903. The number of new cases in East Greenwich has increased from 73 to 78, updated today. Find all the most recent data at the DOH data hub HERE.
At Governor Gina Raimondo’s press conference Monday afternoon, she emphasized the importance of testing and asked residents to donate to a campaign to help undocumented immigrants affected by COVID-19.
On Friday, Raimondo announced the WeR1 campaign to raise money that will be put on debit cards and given to undocumented immigrants who are struggling throughout the crisis. Many of these residents have been unable to access federal benefits due to their immigration status, even if they have lived in the state for years.
Each card will have $400 to be used to pay for basic needs. Since Friday, $41,000 has been raised. Raimondo said the goal is to raise $3 million. To donate, text WeR1 to 27126.
“If you have any amount of money – $1, $10, $100 – I’m asking you for your help,” she said.
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma and said that he told his staff to slow down testing for the virus. His advisers later said he was making a joke with this statement.
In response, Raimondo firmly stated that testing will not be slowed down in the state of Rhode Island.
“Testing is one of the most powerful tools in our toolkit as we go forward dealing with the virus and preventing outbreaks,” she said.
Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the director of the department of health, announced that communities that have been the hardest hit by the virus and have struggled to get their percent positive rates to decrease are currently all below 20 percent – this includes Central Falls, Providence and Pawtucket.
Raimondo also reminded landlords to rent apartments to those who are housing insecure as part of the Housing Now Campaign, which provides additional funds to landlords as an incentive to rent. 40 units have currently been pledged and she wants to reach 100. The campaign ends July 1.
“Homelessness is always wrong and is always a social problem we have to work to eliminate,” she said.
On Saturday, Dr. Alexander-Scott spoke at a Black Lives Matter protest in Providence, called “Black Women Matter.” She said she felt very moved by attending and has hope for the future.
“This is a moment in time to move towards legitimate, transformational change,” she said. “Being able to uplift each other, honor the moms and aunts and all of the amazing women that have come before us to prepare us for times like this.”
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