Information Regarding COVID19 – RIDOH and Governor Raimondo

Briefing from Governor Raimondo and RIDOH as of 4.6.20

Governor Raimondo Announces COVID-19 Testing Partnership with CVS Health
 

Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced today that Rhode Island has entered into a partnership with CVS Health to make free, rapid COVID-19 tests available to Rhode Islanders, doubling the state’s testing capacity. Tests using the new Abbott ID NOW system will be provided by-appointment at a new drive-through testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. This testing site will be able to perform approximately 1,000 tests per day.
 
Rhode Island and Georgia are the only two states in the country to be launching this new partnership today. Healthcare providers from MinuteClinic, CVS’s retail medical clinic, are overseeing the testing. Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 can sign up for a test at www.cvs.com.
 
The symptoms of COVID-19 include any of the following: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea.
 
As Rhode Island has ramped up its testing capacity, Governor Raimondo announced last week that tests are now available for all Rhode Islanders who are experiencing symptoms. COVID-19 testing had previously been limited to certain populations who are more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 and to Rhode Island’s critical infrastructure workforce.
 
Separate from testing through CVS Health at Twin River Casino, Rhode Islanders who have symptoms can still call their healthcare providers to coordinate testing for COVID-19. People can also call urgent care centers. A number of urgent care centers and primary care providers in Rhode Island have set up separate areas that serve as Respiratory Clinics, meaning they are specifically evaluating patients suspected of having COVID-19. While these Respiratory Clinics are in specific areas just for those patients, urgent care centers are still open to see patients who need other services in their usual locations. Additional information about testing in Rhode Island is available at: www.health.ri.gov/covid/testing                                                 
 
COVID-19 Data Update
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced today that Rhode Island has 160 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 1,082. RIDOH also announced two additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. These people were in their 80s and their 90s. Both people were nursing home residents. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities is now 27. 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.
    • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
    • 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.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
    • Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Briefing from Governor Raimondo and RIDOH as of 3.31.20

Governor, Dr. Alexander-Scott Provide Several COVID-19 Updates

 

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Nicole Alexander-Scott MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), made several announcements about the state’s response to COVID-19.

 

  • State parks and beaches: As of this Friday, April 3rd, state beaches and parks in Rhode Island will be closed. Campground openings will be postponed until at least May 1st. More information about this announcement is available online.
  • Masking of healthcare workers: All healthcare workers in all hospitals and nursing homes (as well as home health workers) should be wearing masks at all times when engaged in direct patient care. RIDOH has been working, and will continue to work, with facilities on strategies to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE).  
  • Expanded testing: Testing had previously focused on healthcare workers (including EMS), hospitalized patients, and people who live in congregate living settings (such as nursing homes). With three additional remote swabbing sites (“drive-through testing sites”) now operational, Rhode Island is expanding testing to three additional populations: people who are older than 65, people with underlying medical conditions, and critical infrastructure workers (such as police officers and firefighters). To be tested someone must have symptoms. If someone in one of these groups has symptoms that they think need medical care, they should call their doctor. Someone cannot be tested in Rhode Island without being directed to a testing site by their doctor.
  • Business help: The Rhode Island Superior Court is rolling out a new program to assist businesses that have been significantly disrupted by this virus. Normally, businesses that can’t pay their bills are sold and their assets are divided by creditors. This new program will enable attorneys and accountants to work with business owners so that they can continue to operate, access capital like disaster assistance, and pay their debts incrementally – all under Court-supervised protection from lawsuits. This program will give qualifying businesses vital protection so that they can get back on their feet after this crisis is over. More information can be found on the Court’s website.

 

The Governor also repeated her call for trained medical and behavioral health professionals not currently working full time to sign up as volunteers at www.RIresponds.org.

 

Data

Additionally, Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 86 new cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s count to 488. Dr. Alexander-Scott also announced four additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. One of these individuals was a male in his 60s, and one person was a female in her 80s. The two other people were a male and a female, both in their 70s.This brings Rhode Island’s total for COVID-19 associated fatalities to eight. 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. The people who live with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days. If you need to get food or pick up medicine, call a loved one or neighbor who can run that errand for you.
  • Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Avoid close personal contact with other people in public at all times.
  • Healthcare workers should not be doing to work if they are sick (even with mild symptoms).
  • Through April 13th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)
  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
  • 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).
  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness.
  • 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.

Briefing from Governor Raimondo and RIDOH as of 3.26.20

Governor, Dr. Alexander-Scott Announce New Travel Restrictions, Help for Small Businesses 
Thirty-three additional cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island
 
Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today made several announcements about the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. 
 

  • Travel from New York: Today the Governor signed an executive order mandating that anyone who has traveled to New York by any form of transportation must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island. This applies to anyone who has been in New York in the past 14 days and going forward.

  • Small business support: Rhode Island small business owners can now receive 45 minutes of free tech support via teleconference or over the phone. This service has been coordinated by Rhode Island Commerce and is being staffed by volunteers from some of Rhode Island’s leading tech companies. Starting tomorrow, these experts will be available to help small business owners set up equipment to work from home, shift to online meetings and help with document management and security. Rhode Islanders can visit Commerce’s website or call 521-HELP to get started. 

 
The Governor also reassured Rhode Islanders that contact information collected from travelers in order to monitor quarantining will not be used for any purpose or be shared with any state or federal agency other than the Department of Health. 
 
Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 33 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 165.
 
Data
 
Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 165

  • Updated number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories as of 3/25 (this is an amendment to yesterday’s press release): 1,262

  • Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories as of 3/26: 1,366

  • Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 138

  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 2,250

 
Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex:

  • Females: 78

  • Males: 87

 
Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

  • 0-19: 6

  • 20-29: 28

  • 30-39: 30

  • 40-49: 30

  • 50-59: 38

  • 60-69: 19

  • 70-79: 12

  • 80-89: 0

  • 90 and older: 2

 
Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by city/town of residence:

  • Barrington – fewer than 5

  • Bristol – fewer than 5

  • Burrillville – fewer than 5

  • Central Falls – fewer than 5

  • Charlestown – 0

  • Coventry – fewer than 5

  • Cranston – 18

  • Cumberland – 5

  • East Greenwich – 0

  • East Providence – 9

  • Exeter – 0

  • Foster – fewer than 5

  • Glocester – 0

  • Hopkinton – fewer than 5

  • Jamestown – fewer than 5

  • Johnston – 6

  • Lincoln – fewer than 5

  • Little Compton – 0

  • Middletown – 6

  • Narragansett – fewer than 5

  • New Shoreham – 0

  • Newport – 5

  • North Kingstown – fewer than 5

  • North Providence – fewer than 5

  • North Smithfield – fewer than 5

  • Pawtucket – 7

  • Portsmouth – fewer than 5

  • Providence – 51

  • Richmond – 0

  • Scituate – fewer than 5

  • Smithfield – fewer than 5

  • South Kingstown – 7

  • Tiverton – 0

  • Warren – fewer than 5

  • Warwick – 8

  • West Greenwich – 0

  • West Warwick – fewer than 5

  • Westerly – fewer than 5

  • Woonsocket – fewer than 5

 
Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized:

  • 23

 
Data notes:

  • As the volume of cases increases, RIDOH may move to providing abbreviated data updates daily and more detailed data updates weekly.

  • The number of people in quarantine has decreased because the quarantine periods for two large groups ended. 

  • City and town numbers between 1 and 4 are listed as “fewer than five” for patient privacy reasons.

  • The number of COVID-19 patients in a city or town should not be used to draw any conclusions about relative risk in different cities and towns. All Rhode Islanders should continue to take all the COVID-19 precautions that have been shared by RIDOH.

  • Hospital laboratories and private laboratories are now testing for COVID-19. The number of positives reported above includes all positives from all laboratories for Rhode Islanders. However, the number of negative and pending test results are only for RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories. A unified data collection process for negative and pending test results is being developed. (Individual patients are being notified directly by their healthcare providers of negative test results.)

  
Key messages for the public
 

  • If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.

  • Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).

  • Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)

  • Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.

  • Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.

  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.

  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.

  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH is reiterating CDC’s guidance for people older than 60 years of age:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.

    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

    • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

    • More information is available from CDC.

    • 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. The Hotline will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)

  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.

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

    • 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.

    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.

    • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

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

Briefing from Governor Raimondo and RIDOH as of 3.25.20

Eight additional cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott today announced new guidelines issued by the Department of Business Regulation for retailers and grocers as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

As of 5PM tomorrow, all retailers and grocers must:

  • Allow no more than 20% of stated fire capacity in the store at a time;

  • Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and enforce limits;

  • Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas. Stores should consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high-density areas of stores;

  • Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers;

  • Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout;

  • Designate employee(s) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed;

  • Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling; and

  • Offer exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will restrict entrance to maintain 10% of fire capacity.

Larger grocery stores and retailers with more than 25,000 square feet are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options.

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has eight additional cases of COVID-19. Five of these individuals are males, and three are females. They range in age from their 30s to their 60s. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 132. 

Data 

Rhode Island COVID-19 data is available online.

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 132

  • Number of people who had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 1,339

  • Number of people for whom tests are pending at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories: 181

  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 3,000

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by sex:

  • Females: 66

  • Males: 66 

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by age:

  • 0-19: 6

  • 20-29: 22

  • 30-39: 24

  • 40-49: 24

  • 50-59: 28

  • 60-69: 15

  • 70-79: 11

  • 80-89: 0

  • 90 and older: 2

Distribution of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients by city/town of residence:

  • Barrington – fewer than 5

  • Bristol – fewer than 5

  • Burrillville – fewer than 5

  • Central Falls – fewer than 5

  • Charlestown – 0

  • Coventry – fewer than 5

  • Cranston – 11

  • Cumberland – fewer than 5

  • East Greenwich – 0

  • East Providence – 8

  • Exeter – 0

  • Foster – fewer than 5

  • Glocester – 0

  • Hopkinton – 0

  • Jamestown – fewer than 5

  • Johnston – fewer than 5 

  • Lincoln – fewer than 5

  • Little Compton – 0

  • Middletown – 5

  • Narragansett – fewer than 5

  • New Shoreham – 0

  • Newport – fewer than 5

  • North Kingstown – fewer than 5

  • North Providence – fewer than 5

  • North Smithfield – fewer than 5

  • Pawtucket – 5

  • Portsmouth – fewer than 5

  • Providence – 42

  • Richmond – 0

  • Scituate – fewer than 5

  • Smithfield – fewer than 5

  • South Kingstown – 7

  • Tiverton – 0

  • Warren – fewer than 5

  • Warwick – 7

  • West Greenwich – 0

  • West Warwick – 0

  • Westerly – fewer than 5

  • Woonsocket – fewer than 5

Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized:

  • 15

Data notes:

  • City and town numbers between 1 and 4 are listed as “fewer than five” for patient privacy reasons.

  • The number of COVID-19 patients in a city or town should not be used to draw any conclusions about relative risk in different cities and towns. All Rhode Islanders should continue to take all the COVID-19 precautions that have been shared by RIDOH.

  • Hospital laboratories and private laboratories are now testing for COVID-19. The number of positives reported above includes all positives from all laboratories for Rhode Islanders. However, the number of negative and pending test results are only for RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories. A unified data collection process for negative and pending test results is being developed. (Individual patients are being notified directly by their healthcare providers of negative test results.)  

Key messages for the public

  • If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.

  • Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).

  • Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)

  • Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.

  • Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.

  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.

  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.

  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness.

  • RIDOH is reiterating CDC’s guidance for people older than 60 years of age:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.

    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.

    • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

    • More information is available from CDC.

    • 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. The Hotline will be staffed this weekend from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.)

  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.

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

    • 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.

    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.

    • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

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

      On March 9, Governor Gina M. Raimondo declared a State of Emergency in Rhode Island. A series of preparedness and response measures have been announced. In addition, given the higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among older individuals, specific guidance has been issued for this population. 

      Yesterday, the Governor reinforced the importance of following CDC guidance, including the recommendation that older adult’s practice social distancing (of 6 feet or more) and avoid gatherings of more than 10 individuals.

      Today, we met with Director of the Office of Healthy of Aging and Dr. MacDonald from the RI Department of Health for more specific guidance. The following reflects our plan moving forward for the immediate future based on this conversation and their recommendations:

      Beginning tomorrow, March 13, 2020, the Edward King House Senior Center will be closed to its membership and the public until further notice as suggested by the state leadership. This closure is not mandated and at this time no one within the EKH community has been directly impacted. We are doing so out of an abundance of caution to help mitigate the potential impact of large gatherings and to protect our senior community’s health and well-being.

      This being said, you will find that the building will be closed. Our staff, however, will be manning our phone lines for questions, concerns and a resource for public information. In addition, our staff will be making wellness phone calls to our membership and seniors in the community throughout the duration. Please do not come to the Center. We are taking this time to man our phones and to conduct a deep, deep clean of the entire building from ceiling to floor. 

      Again, all enrichment programs, groups and events have been temporarily suspended. We will provide you with an updated calendar as we progress through this time period. We realize that many people are concerned and that there is a great deal of misinformation circulating and we would like to stress the importance of utilizing legitimate resources to make informed decisions.

      So why are we doing this, it is not because there is reason for panic. We are engaging in this closure in an effort to delay the possible spread of this contagion by keeping people away from each other, We have a chance to help more people effectively and not overwhelm hospitals and infrastructure. We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. This is our response toward that end. 

      We promise to keep in touch along the way to keep you informed. You can expect phone calls from our staff, up to date information on our website and social media as well as eblasts on a regular basis. Please be sure to pay attention to all of them. In addition, we encourage you to stay connected to local media and especially the city or town website in which you live.

      For you own personal safety, we ask you to do the following:

      1.      Stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds and for us that means groups of 10 people or more

      2.      Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands

      3.      Be sure to have on hand enough necessary medications for the coming 2 weeks

      4.      Stay connected to family, friends and community resources (including your health provider) by phone

      5.      Make a plan to ensure that you have the items necessary to support you in the event you should get sick –

      Be sure to have our phone number next to or in your phone. We will be manning our phones from 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday for the next 2 weeks. Our voicemail will also be engaged in the event you need to leave a message. In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.

      ·        401-846-7426 ext 1 – Executive Director

      ·        401-846-7426 ext 2 – Program Manager

      ·        401-846-7426 ext 4 – Assistant Director

       

      We look forward to talking with you and as always stay home, stay warm and stay safe.

       

      Sincerely,

      Carmela Geer

      Executive Director

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