Raimondo reduces social gathering limit to 10, among other new rules
Governor Gina Raimondo Announces New COVID Restrictions
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo updated the state’s COVID restrictions Friday as cases continue to spike.
While the governor is not returning the state to Phase 2, she warns that it’s still an option if people don’t change their behavior. For now, Governor Raimondo announced a number of measures aimed at limiting the accelerating spread currently underway in Rhode Island.
“I’m asking you to ask yourself right now what you can do so we can change our result and keep that field hospital empty,” she said. “Our opportunity to keep somebody out of the hospital, our opportunity to allow somebody to keep their job — that’s what you have right now.”
Raimondo said she wants to avoid the sweeping decisions she had to make this past spring…instead making changes with limited effect on commerce, and keeping kids in school.
“I want to keep this round of regulatory changes as targeted as possible,” said the governor, a Democrat.
Among the most significant changes, the social gathering limit is being lowered from 15 to ten people. Officials say the reduced limit was necessary as infection data shows new cases emerging from large social gatherings.
Additionally, Rhode Island retailers are now obligated to remind customers to wear masks, and if they do not have one, to give them a mask to wear while inside their establishments.
For the next two weeks, spectators will be banned from attending youth sporting events. That does not include college and professional games.
The Governor is also urging faith leaders to offer virtual rather than in-person services, while also stressing the vulnerability of older Rhode Islanders, saying that nursing home and hospital visitations must also be scaled back for the next two weeks.
Raimondo also announced $5 million immediately available for employers, to allow any employees that can work from home to do so.
The governor stressed that anything Rhode Islanders can do to limit contact with others will help to slow down the spread.
“That’s tough to hear, I realize, because we’re all sick of it,” she said. “But we all have a moment right now, each and every one of us, in our lives to save lives.”