Gov. Raimondo announces 10 additional deaths and 311 new cases of COVID-19
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Raimondo announced additional COVID-19 related deaths and new cases at her daily press briefing today.
311 new cases were announced today, bringing the state’s total to 2,976 cases.
Since Sunday there were an additional 10 deaths reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 73 people.
Currently 197 people are hospitalized for COVID-19.
As the state’s positive cases continue to increase, Raimondo assures residents that this should not be alarming as the state has increased testing over the last few weeks. Raimondo reported that the state is currently testing 4 to 5 times as many people than just one week ago.
The Governor greatly expressed her feelings for business owners today. She reiterated today, that she and her team are doing everything they can to get people back to work and to keep as many businesses open with people working from home.
She did remind Rhode Islanders that getting the economy reopened will not be an on/off switch. When the decision is made to begin reopening the economy, it will be gradual. The hope is to be one of the first states in the country to get people back to work, though.
In the meantime, the governor urges business owners to take advantage of the Small Business Association Protection Program. This program is available due to the CARES act and federal stimulus package, that allows businesses to keep employees on the payroll. The program allows for loan forgiveness.
Raimondo announced additional help through a new $10 million small business loan program with the help of Goldman Sachs. This program will assist small businesses and nonprofits who need access to cash that are unable to receive assistance through the SBA Protection Program. She encouraged those who need help through this partnership to apply online at commerceri.com.
She said even though testing has greatly increased over the last few weeks, highly accurate, fast testing for Rhode Islanders needs to be even more robust. The state averaged 2,068 tests per day for the week of last week. 40% of those test were through the CVS rapid test site. Rhode Island is conducting 20,000 test per capita, making the state third in the country in terms of testing.
In the coming weeks, Raimondo and RIDOH hope to expand mobile testing into nursing homes throughout the state, along with additional community testing sites making it more easily accessible for residents to get tested.
Due to today’s strong winds and heavy rains, all of Rhode Island’s outdoor testing sites are closed today. It was stated that those sites will be reopened tomorrow and if you had an appointment scheduled for Monday, you will be notified and provided with a new appointment for Tuesday.
For those seeking unemployment insurance benefits, the governor is begging for everyone’s patients as over 144,000 Rhode Islanders have filed for unemployment benefits over the last several weeks. She stated that if every applicant has filled out an accurate application, you will receive your check in 7-14 days.
Raimondo announced Rhode Island school children have been distance learning for 5 weeks already. She urged students to continue reading every day. Through partnerships already set in place, it is reported that 90% of students have access through available means. The governor is committed to give every single child the tools they need to learn virtually.
Thank you to the Rhode Island Foundation and RIDE for donating over $100,000 toward computer equipment and WiFi hotspots for those known students still in need. Raimondo plans on making an announcement for distance learning for the rest of the school year by the end of this week.