Rhode Island - COVID-19 Covered

Rhode Island

Total Cases: 14,819 (May 30)
Tests Administered: 150,317 (May 30)
Fatalities: 711 (May 30)
Testing:
  • Rhode Island launched Crush COVID”free app to boost contact tracing efforts. The app has an optional “location diary” through which users can record the locations they have visited and people they have been with. That data is stored on the user’s phone only and is automatically deleted after 20 days. (May 19) 
  • Governor Raimondo signed an executive order that expands hospital capacity. (May 9) 
  • Rhode Island’s first walk-up testing site has opened in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. (April 21) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced Executive-Order 20-17 which outlined hospital reporting guidelines on testing and medical supplies to the Rhode Island Department of Health. (April 7) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced a partnership with CVS Health to expand testing and provide “on-the-spot results.” (April 6) 
  • As of April 5, 7,181 patients had been tested for COVID-19 within RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories (922 positive, 6,259 negative). (RI DOH)  
  • Governor Raimondo reported that the National Guard was helping implement drive-through testing(March 20)  
  • Testing is conducted at Rhode Island Department of Health’s (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories. (March 15) 

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:

  • The executive order that provides additional subsidies to families participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has been extended to June 26. (May 27) 
  • The executive orders pertaining to young adults aging out of state care; public meetings and public record requests and delaying primary electionsand preparing for a predominantly mail ballot election have been extend until June 24. (May 15) 
  • Governor Raimondo has requested the National Guard to help staff nursing homes to relief the burden on healthcare workers. (April 24)  
  • Brown University announced that it will open its residence halls to medical personnel, public safety workers, nursing home employees, and others on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis who do not wish to return to their homes for fear of spreading the disease to family members. (April 22) 
  • The statutory timeframes within which to respond to a public record request have been temporarily suspended. (April 15) 
  • Governor Raimondo ordered the change and/or temporarily suspension of regulations regarding public meetings in relation to the prohibition of technological substitutions (April 15).  
  • Governor Raimondo has joined a coalition with the governors of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts to coordinate the reopening of the economy. (April 13) 
  • Governor Raimondo ordered all employees at customer-facing businesses to wear cloth face coverings. (April 14) 
  • Director Alexander Scott announced the recommendation that individuals should wear cloth masks when going out in public. (April 3)  
  • Governor Raimondo announced she will be extending her order for the suspension of childcare licenses. The extension will go until the end of April. (April 3) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that all state beaches and public parks will be closed starting April 3. The State has directed nursing home administrators to not allow visitors and continue screening staff and others that enter facilities for COVID-19 risks. (RI DOH) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Raimondo signed an executive order that extends the state emergency declaration until June 20. (May 21) 
  • Governor Raimondo signed an executive order that extends her previous executive orders on declaring the pandemic as a disaster emergency; monitoring international travel; expanding access to Telemedicine Services; extending time for firearm background checks; authorizing Medicaid expansion and increasing unemployment insuranceAll the executive orders are extended until June 5. (May 7)  
  • Governor Raimondo joined the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in unveiling a joint multi-state agreement to develop coronavirus testing kits, personal protective equipment and ventilators (May 3)  
  • Governor Raimondo extended the Declaration of Disaster Emergency to May 8. (April 28) 
  • Rhode Island is setting up three makeshift hospitals. (April 3) 
  • Rhode Island Family Court also clarified that it is open to deal with emergencies only. (April 1) 
  • President Trump approved Rhode Island’s request for a disaster declaration, which will allow the state to access federal emergency aid. (March 30)  
  • Governor Raimondo and Department of Health Director Alexander-Scott announced that Rhode Island schools would continue using distance learningTo aid students, Governor Raimondo announced that all households that have a cell phone with a WiFi hot spot through Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, will be able to use the hot spot feature for free from now until May 13. (March 30) 
  • 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)  
  • The Disaster Emergency Funding Board voted to approve the borrowing of $300 million for the state to continue operating. (March 26) 
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Rhode Island’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver, allowing the state to provide flexibility in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, to waive certain screening and assessments, among others. (March 25) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that the state is partnering with Care.com to assist frontline workers with childcare and elder care. The Boys and Girls Club, the Greater Providence YMCA, Children’s Workshop, Children’s Friend, and Learning Brooke will also begin offering on-site childcare for hospital workers. (March 24) 
  • Governor Raimondo activated the Rhode Island National Guard to allow for them to train civilian medical personnel, staff call centers, distribute food and essential goods among other tasks. (March 20) 
  • Rhode Island moved its 2019 state tax filing deadline to July 15. (March 20) 
  • According to a state press release, “State courts will not process any residential or commercial evictions for the next thirty days. (March 19)  
  • 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:

  • Governor Raimondo announced that the state would be establishing a short-term bridge loan program for restaurants and small businesses” of up to 10 employees. (April 1) 
  • Rhode Island Superior Court launched the Business Recovery plan to provide relief for those impacted by the pandemic. The program is a collaboration between courts and the Rhode Island Bar. (March 31) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that beginning on March 27, small businesses will be able to access free technology support via Rhode Island Commerce. (March 26) 
  • The State of Rhode Island launched a new website to support small businesses which allows consumers to purchase gift cards from local businesses across the state. (March 24) 
  • Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training has set up a COVID-19 assistance line and email address (401-462-2020; dlt.covid19@dlt.ri.gov) for support for employment issues. (RI DOH)  
  • The US Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Rhode Island small businesses. (RI DOH) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • Governor Raimondo announced that Rhode Island is on track for Phase 2 of reopening on June 1. “That is going to be a reopening of almost every part of our economy,” Raimondo said. “I’m 100% confident that we are ready and we can do this safely.” (May 26) 
  • Two beaches — East Matunuck and Scarborough — will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” (May 18) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that the Stay-at-home order will lift on Saturday. Non-critical retail stores will be allowed to open with capacity limits and offices will be permitted to allow people to come and go. Social gatherings of five or more people are banned until May 22. (May 7) 
  • Governor Raimondo plans to sign an executive order that will direct “everyone in a public place — whether indoors or outdoors — to wear a cloth face covering. (May 5) 
  • Governor Raimondo has rescheduled Rhode Island’s gradual reopening of non-essential businesses to May 9. (May 3) 
  • Governor Raimondo issued a stay-at-home order until April 13, requiring that Rhode Islanders stay home unless they are going out to get food, medicine, gas, or to go to work. (March 28) 

Curfews:

  • No records found.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Non-emergency surgeries have resumed in Rhode Island hospitals. (May 13)  
  • The Newport Jazz Festival has canceled its summer event. (April 29)  
  • Ten person gatherings will be permitted starting May 9. (April 28) 
  • Governor Raimond signed an executive order that extended quarantine restrictions until May 8. (April 9) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that Rhode Island will now have highway signs for out-of-state drivers directing them to pull over at information stations at the Connecticut borderAt these stations, state police will inform drivers that anyone staying in Rhode Island will be required to quarantine for 14 days. (March 29) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that all gatherings of more than five people have been banned. (March 28) 
  • Governor Raimondo issued an executive order moving Rhode Island’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 2. (March 23) 

Delivery Services:

  • Governor Raimondo announced RIDelivers, a new food delivery program, where the state has partnered with Roch’s Fresh Foods. (April 1)
  • Governor Raimondo extended her closing of establishments that serve food to be eaten at the location until April 13. (March 27)
  • Governor Raimondo closed restaurants, bars, or any other establishment that offered food or drink until March 30, but these restaurants and bars may conduct take-out and delivery services during this time. (March 16)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Summer Youth Sports organizations may begin resuming limited activities in accordance with the guidelines established by the state and the CDC. (May 29) 
  • A statewide graduation special will air on Rhode Island PBS on June 15. (May 14) 
  • Summer camps will be able to operate on June 29, provided that they follow new regulations for group activities and cleaning. (May 14) 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that Rhode Island public schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. (April 24) 
  • The Rhode Island Interscholastic League announced that the 2020 spring sports season is canceled. (April 24)

State Higher Education:

  • No records found as of April 8, but handful of Rhode Island higher education institutions have moved to remote or online learning. (March 10) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com