Raimondo considers new restrictions as state faces second COVID wave
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Department of Health is reporting another day of more than 400 new cases, and hospitalizations have been doubling in just the last three weeks.
“We are continuing to see very disturbing trends in our data, particularly when it comes to new cases,” said RIDOH Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
Governor Raimondo says she understands why it’s happening.
“We’ve been at this a long time,” she said. “We’re getting tired, we’re getting fatigued, we’re missing our friends and family. And it is clearly being reflected in our data.”
Raimondo says we may have to open the state’s field hospital and slide the state back into phase two in a matter of weeks.
But the governor thinks there’s still a chance to prevent this if Rhode Islanders change their behavior immediately.
“We have to keep our groups small and stable,” Raimondo said. “Because we need to turn around this trend. We’ve got to stop this trend and turn the corner.”
They’re urging people to limit interactions to people they absolutely need to see, record those interactions in a contact tracing journal, and to avoid activities that could be described as the “three I’s”: informal, indoors, and inconsistent groups.
“If 95% of people wear masks, particularly in those three I settings, we can save nationally 100,000 lives,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott.
The health department is also looking to hire 100 more case investigators. The governor says contact tracing is challenging partially because testing volume is up, but mostly because people have too many contacts.
Raimondo is also encouraging companies to have their employees work from home.
The governor is planning to hold another press conference Friday, where she will likely announce new restrictions.