Rhode Island - COVID-19 Covered

Rhode Island

Total Cases: 30,118 (October 25)
Fatalities: 1,177 (October 25)
Testing:
  • 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 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:

  • Governor Raimondo announced $1 million in available funding to assist businesses and organizations interested in participating in the state’s Take It Outside initiative. The Take It Outside initiative is a 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 (DEM) will begin accepting applications for federal CARES Act fisheries assistance funding on Monday, September 14. (September 11)  
  • Governor Raimondo announced $100 million in emergency financial support for Rhode Island’s small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 16 
  • Lt. Governor Dan McKee proposed a framework for a Small Business-Friendly Grant Program using a minimum of 10 percent of Rhode Island’s $1.25 billion CARES Act funds to assist small businesses across the state. (July 14 
  • 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) 
  • 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) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Rhode Island has published tips to ensure a safer Halloween. They can be found here. 
  • More than 200 businesses in sectors such as retail, fitness, and hospitality received perfect scores on their COVID-19 compliance inspections, according to Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force. (August 27)  
  • Governor Raimondo announced she will reduce the state’s maximum number of people allowed at backyard barbecues, house parties, and other social gatherings from 25 to 15 people. (July 29) 
  • An elections task force consisting of state and local elections officials and members of the public released a series of recommendations to ensure that Rhode Island voters can cast their ballots in a safe and secure manner this fall. (July 9 
  • Governor Raimondo announced the state will move into Phase 3 on June 30 and extended the follow executive orders until August 3. (June 29 
    • Face coverings: Face coverings must be worn in public – both indoors and outdoors – whenever six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. 
    • Telemedicine: Health insurers must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care, and mental and behavioral health care conducted over the phone or by videoconference. Reimbursement rates for providers must be the same as reimbursement rates for in-office visits. 
    • Disaster declaration: The state of emergency declaration ensures that Rhode Island has access to all the necessary resources to support the response to the pandemic. 
    • Firearms: The Governor extended the time period that law enforcement must complete a background check for a gun permit from seven days to 30 days. 
    • Quarantine: People must follow the state’s quarantine and isolation guidance. 
  • Governor Raimondo announced that no-contact and low-contact youth and adult sports will be allowed in Phase 3 of Rhode Island’s economic reopening, which is scheduled to begin sometime next week. (June 25) 

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 COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com