RIDOH reports 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 365 more positive cases

Raimondo sounds a note of hope, announces plans to open state's parks
Gina Presser Wed Apr 22

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) reported 10 more COVID-19 related deaths and 365 more positive cases Wednesday.

That brings the state to a total of 5,841 cumulative cases and 181 deaths.

RIDOH says 270 people are in the hospital, 71 of which are in the ICU, 44 are currently on ventilators.

A total of 315 people who were hospitalized with COVID-19  have been discharged from a hospital, according to RIDOH.

Even as Governor Raimondo announced the new fatalities at Wednesday’s press briefing, she sounded a note of hope for the state.

As cases appear to be hovering at a plateau, the governor suggested the state was at a stable place.

“This is a good news day,” Raimondo said.

The governor suggested that data may not indicate Rhode Island has yet hit its peak, but showed that social distance efforts were having an effect at slowing the spread of the disease.

Turning to her plan for a gradual reopening of the economy, Raimondo addressed the state’s older residents– those 60-years-old and above– saying they needed to “come to terms now with the fact that you’re reentry is going to be a bit different, a bit slower.”

“The reality is the older you get the worse this disease is,” Raimondo said.

Acknowledging that many in that age-range were still a part of the state’s labor force, Raimondo urged employers to create guidelines for older employees that could allow them to maintain distancing and remote working.

The governor announced a new walk-up testing site at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, similar to one already active in Providence. The site is managed by Care New England, and was made possible with assistance from  Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien.

The site requires an appointment, which can be made by calling 401-227-3669.

The Providence site is currently testing close to  50 people a day, which the governor suggested could double by the end of the week.

Even as the state was testing at one of the top rates in the country, the governor stressed access needed to be expanded to those who don’t have access to cars or face other hardships, such as poverty and homelessness.

In honor of Earth Day, Raimondo said she will be making announcement concerning the state’s parks and beaches.

She hopes to begin a gradual, staged, reopening of outdoor spaces early in May. The governor said she is working with Janet Coit at the Department of Environmental Management to to develop the plan.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Raimonodo said.

The governor also announced a new feature on the RIDOH website that helps residents monitor symptoms to determine if they should seek further medical attention.

The Covid Self-Check is a virtual screening tool that utilizes Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Questions are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The site was developed with Rhode Island company Diagnostic Robotics and can be accessed here.

The governor stressed that the self-check should be used as guidance, not as a replacement for professional medical care.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island