Raimondo asks residents to avoid large events, offers guidelines to contain coronavirus

Rhode Islanders were told to avoid attending or organizing gatherings larger than 250 people

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Gina Raimondo announced new guidelines on Wednesday that she wants all Rhode Islanders to follow to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The number one goal right now is containment,” Raimondo said. “We only have one chance to contain this. This is one shot.”

The governor asked all Rhode Islanders to not organize or attend events of 250 people or more for the next two weeks. This includes sporting events and spectator events such as parades.

“Transmission of the virus occurs most when there are large numbers of people together in a closed setting, whether outside or inside,” said Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director of the state Department of Health.

Raimondo went on to say residents 60 or older should not attend any events, regardless of size, over the next two weeks.

The governor did not recommend for schools K-12 to close, citing evidence that children fared better with coronavirus infection than adults. Raimondo suggested that careful monitoring should take place.  If there is a positive case, the school should close and follow protocol for disinfecting while contacting the Rhode Island Department of Health, the governor said.

All school assemblies and large school events should be canceled, however, according to the governor.

Raimondo called for businesses to remain open, while making considerations to allow employees to work from home when possible.

“Take special consideration into how you can amend the way you interact with your customers so that folks can have an appropriate amount of distance while they might be in line,” said Raimondo. She said six feet is a safe distance to stand away from people.

The governor called upon younger, healthy residents to continue to support area businesses, so the local economy does not come to a halt.

“If you are a person who is under 60, who feels healthy, it’s okay to go to the grocery store, or go out to dinner,” Raimondo said. “But we want you to be smart about it.”

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island