R.I reports 4 COVID-19 Related Deaths and State Beaches and Parks Closed

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – In a press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Raimondo updated residents of Rhode Island on the state’s response to COVID-19, including reports of four additional deaths and the closing of state beaches and parks.

The four new announced deaths bring the state total to eight, with 86 new positive cases, bringing the number of total cases to 488.

Of those 488 cases, 59 of them are hospitalized, which is up from 41 people on Monday.

According to the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Alexander-Scott, the deaths included a man in his 60s, a woman in her 80s, and a man and a woman in their 70s.

Underlying conditions are not known at this time.

Governor Raimondo expressed concern about the state being in a rapid spread of the virus.

With a lack of hospital beds, masks, and ventilators, the Governor is hoping social distancing will buy the state time to better prepare.

The Governor announced President Trump approved a disaster declaration for Rhode Island, meaning FEMA will reimburse the state for expenses that began on January 20th.

As a result of some residents continuing to congregate in public areas, all state beaches and parks will be closed as of Friday, April 3rd.

All campground openings will be postponed until May 1

The Governor asked for assistance from trained medical professionals who are not working full time and ask them to reach out on RIResponds.com.

Raimondo also issued guidance on masks for healthcare workers. Masks should be worn by healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and during in-home care when workers are in direct contact with patients.

A statement from the governor addressed a new program with Rhode Island Superior Court that looks to provide help with struggling businesses. The Business Recovery Plan provides attorneys and accountants with businesses struggling to pay bills, and can help with accessing disaster assistance. More information is available on the the Superior Court website.

On the topic of joint-custody and what parents should do, Doctor Alexander-Scott said it is in the best interest of co-parents to stay in contact with their children through phone-calls and stay home as often as possible.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Regional News