One-on-one with Governor Gina Raimondo: “I’m disappointed with where we are right now”

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – ‘Disappointed’ is the word Governor Gina Raimondo uses to describe how she feels about the positivity rate going up in Rhode Island.

“You know, we need to do better. We need to do better. I’m disappointed with where we are right now. The cases are going up, over 100 a day, it’s not sustainable, it’s not a good place, and it’s all preventable.”

The governor, in a one-on-one interview Thursday with ABC6 News reporter Amanda Pitts, said it’s concerning that this is happening so soon before the start of the school year, but she’s not giving up hope that things will turn around.

“It’s obviously concerning that our numbers are going up and we have a month to go or so before we open school, and I hope that between now and the end of August, our numbers are gonna go down again, and we’ll be in good shape for schools to open.”

Another major concern of the governor is the start of the school year for college students. She said it’s on the institutions to be strict.

“These kids cannot be going out all weekend and partying in the neighborhood bars and restaurants, they cannot be filling up their fraternity houses with big parties,” the governor said. “(Schools) have to have testing readily available, and they have to really clamp down on the social lives of students because if not, then it’ll have a big impact on the state. And, of course, most of them are in Providence. RISD, Providence College, Brown. We’re already struggling in Providence. So, we are asking them to work with us, and really, if they’re gonna have the students back on campus, very strict rules.”

Governor Raimondo said she continues to hear that some Rhode Islanders aren’t following the rules, and it’s especially important for people to do so right now, as she said this week and next are a “turning point.”

“Today, we’re hearing stories of people having a backyard barbeque with 60 people. That’s against the law right now. The law is 15. So we’ve created a new enforcement unit at the Rhode Island State Police, and we’re gonna start cracking down. And if we see that, every single person at that party will be fined $500.”

As stated in her press conference Wednesday, Raimondo said she will have no choice but to clamp down on restrictions again if the state continues on this path, like stopped indoor dining at restaurants and closing beaches.

“Three weeks ago, we were in a good place. Our numbers were in a stable place, they were low, it was safe. So, three weeks from now? I want to be back there.”

This Tuesday at 6 p.m., ABC6 will have much more on what Governor Raimondo said about the reopening of schools, including the “checkmarks” schools are following to safely reopen, how students with learning disabilities will be impacted, and how she’s hoping to help students living in the urban core of the state. 

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island