On Tuesday, Rhode Island state officials announced 86 new cases of the coronavirus, as the state has entered what Governor Gina Raimondo calls the "rapid spread phase." The state now has 488 cases, with 59 hospitalized. There have been 8 deaths. In her daily briefing, Raimondo announced that beginning on Friday April 3rd, state parks and beaches will be closed in order to help maintain social distancing. Bike paths will remain accessible but their parking lots will be closed.
The governor says that the current rate of testing for coronavirus is 500-600 people per day. Rhode Island's new testing sites at CCRI, RIC and URI will be fully operational by Wednesday and will help bring the state to its goal of 1,000 tests per day this week. Testing is done by appointment only. Raimondo reminds Rhode Islanders not to show up at testing sites unless they have been directed to do so by the RI Department of Health. The Governor also announced that no evictions will be allowed until April 17th and that utility shut-offs are suspended at least through April 15th.
RI Dept. of Health Director, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott advises anyone with coronavirus symptoms to cal their primary care provider, who can help determine if a test for coronavirus is necessary. Dr. Alexander-Scott announced that nursing students with at least one semester of practical experience can be placed into an accelerated licensing program which will allow them to take active health care roles immediately. She also announced that all health care workers are now directed to wear surgical masks.