Rhode Island - COVID-19 Covered

Rhode Island

Total Cases: 152,273 (June 14)
Tests Administered: 806,351 (March 8)
Fatalities: 2,722 (June 14)
Testing:
  • All State-run COVID-19 testing sites will be closed December 17. (December 16)  
  • Rhode Island’s comprehensive school testing program is now open and able to provide prompt results to any student, teacher, or staff member at any public or private Pre-K – 12 school throughout the state who needs to be tested for COVID-19. (September 14)  
  • You can find a Rhode Island COVID-19 testing location near you using this website.  

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Critical retail businesses include: food and beverage storespharmacies and medical supply stores; pet supply stores; printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, office supply; gas stations; laundromats; electronics and telecommunications stores; industrial, construction, agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, general power equipment; funeral homes; auto repair and supply; banks and credit unions; firearms stores; healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores. (March 28) 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Rhode Island and Google Cloud announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state to individuals who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. (October 21) 
  • The Department of Labor and Training (DLT) announced today that Rhode Island has successfully completed the programming needed to issue payments as part of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). (September 3) 
  • The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training (DLT) announced that beginning August 19 the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Call Center will have expanded hours to accommodate more claimants, and additional authorized staff will be dedicated to the UI Call Center in order to solve claimant issues in real time. (August 18) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced a $45 million-dollar, first-of-its-kind workforce development initiative to get Rhode Islanders back to work. (July 28 
  • Governor Raimondo ordered all employees at customer-facing businesses to wear cloth face coverings. (April 14) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • On December 3, SNAP households with benefit amounts under the maximum amount will receive additional benefits as a supplement to the regular December issuance. (November 23)  
  • On November 3rd, SNAP households with benefit amounts under the maximum amount will receive additional benefits as a supplement to the regular November issuance. (October 28)  
  •  On August 4, SNAP households not already receiving the maximum benefit amount for their household size will receive an increase to their benefits to bring them up to the maximum amount. (July 27) 
  • Rhode Island Medicaid will be waiving “all terminations and quarterly income verifications” for the entirety of the emergency. (March 29) 
  • Rhode Island has been given the authority to distribute additional benefits to Rhode Islanders eligible for SNAP. Additionally, the state has extended the deadline for families for recertification in the program by six months(March 27)  
  • Governor Raimondo has reported that citizens’ utilities will not be suspended for non-payment and that utility companies will be unable to transfer these accounts to collection agencies. (March 18) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Rhode Island Department of Human Services announced a new grant program designed to support and stabilize Rhode Islands child care industry. (March 22 
  • Rhode Island announced the launch of the COVID-19 Business Testing Contact Center, which would work to expand the state’s testing program for businesses. (March 3) 
  • The Department of Environmental Management announced it had set up a $1 million fund capitalized by CARES Act money to help owners of indoor sports facilities recover losses incurred from November 2 to November 8. (November 19) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced a relief program for restaurants, bars, and other such businesses that had been ordered to close earlier than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (November 6) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced $1 million in available funding to assist businesses and organizations interested participating in the states Take It Outside initiativea statewide effort to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. (September 16) 
  • The Department of Environmental Management began accepting applications for federal CARES Act fisheries assistance funding on September 14. (September 11) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced $100 million in emergency financial support for Rhode Islands small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 16) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor McKee signed an executive order updating the state’s mask mandate to match current CDC guidelines. (June 2) 
  • Governor McKee announced the state would begin reopening on May 21, a week earlier than originally planned. (May 21) 
  • Governor McKee announced that any clinically eligible person would be allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island, regardless of where they live. (May 13) 
  • Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced that parents and guardians could now register children 12 to 15 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19. (May 11) 
  • Governor McKee extended the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration through May 13. (April 26) 
  • Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced that the state would resume Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration. (April 26) 
  • Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been expanded to all residents 16 years of age or older. (April 20 
  • Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority announced that RIPTA would provide free transportation to people traveling to and from vaccination appointments beginning April 19. (April 15) 
  • On April 12, any resident between the ages of 40 and 49 will be eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. (April 9 
  • Rhode Islanders aged 60 to 64 and those aged 16 to 64 with specific underlying health conditions gained vaccine eligibility. (March 11) 
  • The Rhode Island Department of Health announced COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is now open to all residents 65 years of age and older. (February 22) 
  • Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced that all residents 75 years of age and older could now register for an appointment at one of the two state-run vaccination sites. (February 17) 
  • The Rhode Island Department of Health announced a plan for the next phase of the State’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which would likely begin in mid-February. (January 28) 
  • New rules opening competitive sports opportunities for lower and moderate risk sports such as gymnastics, basketball, ice hockey, indoor track, and swimming went into effect on January 20. (January 20) 
  • Governor Raimondo reduced the size of allowable social gatherings from 15 to 10. She also added that spectators would not be allowed at Rhode Island sporting events for two weeks, with exceptions for the parents of small children. (October 30) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) have released an Outbreak Response Playbook: Pre K-12 guide, which provides district and school leaders with guidance on how to respond to various scenarios involving COVID-19 and their students, teachers, and staff. (August 7 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that parents will not be penalized if they don’t send their children back into classrooms next month. (July 30) 
  • All Rhode Island Public Schools are expected to reopen on August 31. (June 10) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Rhode Island universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at [email protected]