Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provided an update today on the state’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. 

All Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to call a healthcare provider to coordinate a test. The symptoms of COVID-19 include any of these symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea. COVID-19 testing in Rhode Island had previously been limited to the members of certain priority populations who are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 or who are members of Rhode Island’s critical infrastructure workforce.

The Governor also announced that starting tonight the State House will be lit red for the next week to honor the first responders on the frontlines of this crisis. 

COVID-19 Data Update

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 97 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 806. Dr. Alexander-Scott also announced three additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Two individuals were in their 80s, and one was in their 90s. One of these individuals was a nursing home resident. That brings Rhode Island’s number of fatalities to 17. A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online.

Key messages for the public

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare).
  • The people who live with that person and who have been in direct close contact with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days. Direct close contact means being within approximately 6 feet of a person for a prolonged period.
  • Help is available for people living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Visit www.RIDelivers.com for connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups. People can also call 2-1-1. 
  • Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
  • Healthcare workers should not be going to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms).
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public.
  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.

o    Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.

o    Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

o    Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

o    Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.

o    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.