RI distance learning extended for the rest of school year, 412 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Thursday that Rhode Island schools will continue with remote learning till the end of the academic year.

“We will need to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year,” Gov. Raimondo said Thursday. “We do not have enough data or evidence for safe reopening. This is the consensus recommendation.”

This announcement from the Governor comes one month after distance learning officially started in Rhode Island on March 23.

Rhode Island’s Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green on Thursday said that Rhode Island is leading the nation in remote learning while also getting appropriate resources to families.

“Our team is working on system leaders to plan the rest of the school year and to maximize learning every day,” Infante-Green said.

Infante-Green said that schools will still need to meet the 180 day school year requirement. Adding that June 18 will be the probable last day.

The Rhode Island Department of Education will be working with the Highlander Institute to expand its distance-learning hotline. It’s now open to parents to help their students get the most out of their education that they can. Call 904-414-4927 or visit highlanderinstitute.org.

Raimondo added that she hopes to announce something in the coming weeks in regards to child care and summer camps.

Also, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) released new COVID-19 numbers Thursday for Rhode Island, revealing 412 new positive cases, and 8 new confirmed deaths.

Out of the 8 newly reported deaths, 4 were in their 60s, two in their 70s, one in their 80s, and one in their 90s. Four of the new deaths were from nursing homes, according to RIDOH.

That brings Rhode Island’s cumulative COVID-19 totals to 6,256 cases and 189 deaths.

267 are currently in the hospital, 72 of which are in the ICU with 45 of those people on ventilators.

A total of 609 Rhode Islanders have been admitted to a hospital for COVID-19, and 342 of them have been discharged, according to RIDOH. (Note: both of these statistics are cumulative)

Rhode Island has issued 44,419 tests with 38,163 coming back negative.

Raimondo said on Thursday that she’s eager and hopes to re-open parts of the economy on May 8. She added that it doesn’t necessarily require 14 days of declining case numbers and officials could look at averages instead.

Gov. Raimondo decided to clear the air in regards to her announcement yesterday saying that people over 60 will have special guidelines to follow.

“You’re going to be able to go to work,” Raimondo said while addressing those over 60. “In no way ever would we do anything to be discriminatory.”

Raimondo still hasn’t given an official list of what those guidelines will be.

Next Thursday, Raimondo says she plans to hold another “kids-only” style press conference like the one she held previously. 

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island