Gov. Raimondo warns if we don’t “Knock It Off” there will be a resurgence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Raimondo addressed the state Wednesday, saying there has been a slight uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

A model revealed where R.I. is with hospitalizations. The Blue line indicated a steady decline which is what we have seen over the past few weeks. Raimondo added, “That’s where we will stay if we follow the rules.” The Yellow line represented an increase in hospitalizations, with the governor explaining if Rhode Islanders let their guard down, we are going to see a surge. The circles on the chart showed the states actual experience.

Ri Hospitalization Graph

Since this model was revealed last week, the state in just one week is moving toward the yellow instead of the blue. Raimondo said, “That’s not a good day.” She added, “It isn’t a call for panic, but it’s time to pause and ask ourselves, are we doing everything we can to follow the rules?”

Rhode Island still remains in a good place, however, over the last week it was not good that the state is trending toward the yellow instead of the blue. This means the state is showing an increase in positive cases.

The statewide test positive rate is just under 2 percent, which is excellent. On the contrary, 7 percent of new cases are from the 20-29 age group, and the governor asks this age group to do better.

Raimondo said “our fortunes can change very quickly.” In just a few weeks the rate of positive COVID-19 cases could spike, while it can take much longer for the state to come back down from a spike.

While Rhode Island is still doing well, we are reminded that we are not immune and to continue to follow the rules. We need to be on high alert for the next year until a vaccine is widely available so that businesses stay open, schools can open, and the economy can stay moving in a positive direction.

When out and about, the governor asks for everyone’s cooperation. “If someone asks you to put your mask on, just put it on.” Raimondo says that she wants all Rhode Islanders to enjoy the beach, but there have been extremely large crowds, even with reduced parking. The DEM says there have been 50 thousand more cars than the same time last year, and town beach visitation and parking have sky rocketed compared to last year as well.

Last weekend there were several compliance issues at Misquamicut and Scarborough State Beaches. These locations experienced over crowding and not enough mask wearing. The governor said that restaurants in these communities are dealing with the overcrowding from the beach in return.

Starting Thursday, Misquamicut and Scarborough State Beach parking will be cut back to 25 percent. Local officials will be cracking down this weekend on people illegally parking on streets near these two beaches. In addition, over-time fines for illegal parking may significantly increase.

The hope is for a better and safer weekend at the beaches.

Governor Raimondo joined 39 states in a letter to President Trump to extend federal funding for National Guard activation through the end of the year.

Raimondo said she does not love the term “the new normal”, saying she wants us to be “better than the old normal”, as there were issues prior to the pandemic.

She recognizes that the amount of those suffering in the state is unprecedented, announcing that as we move forward and Rhode Island claws its way out of this crisis, we will stand up together and make a more innovative, equal, and resilient work environment.

An announcement was made that Raimondo plans to use approximately $200 million of stimulus money to go to job training and small businesses. She said the highest unemployment filing has been in the food, hospitality, and retail industries. Small businesses will receive $100 million of that money, with 20 percent for minority-owned businesses. Businesses with 20 or fewer employees or businesses that has lost significant revenue during COVID-19 will be eligible for $50 million of the money. Additionally, $26,000 will be available for non-profits, tech assistance, and a “reposition program” that will help businesses adjust their business model for new economy.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reported 2 new deaths and 52 new cases for the state on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, 2,923 people were tested for the coronavirus in the state.

Currently 59 people are hospitalized for the virus, with 5 people in the ICU, and 3 people on a ventilator.

Rhode Island reports that 17,640 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and 987 people have died as a result of the virus in the state.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island