Asst. News Editor
On Thursday, Gina Raimondo announced that on November 30 Rhode Island will be placed on a two week pause in order to mitigate the increased spread of COVID-19. At a press conference the governor stated that as COVID-19 cases continue to rise within the state, drastic measures must be taken.
As the daily case counts have continued to increase over the last month, Governor Raimondo has implemented less drastic measures in an attempt to slow down the spread of the novel virus. One month ago, Governor Raimondo implemented a 10:30 p.m. curfew which required restaurants, gyms, bars and recreational facilities to close at 10 p.m. In addition, indoor events were capped at 25 people, outdoor events could not exceed 75 people and big box stores were required to only allow 150 square feet per person. Despite these efforts, Rhode Island finds itself in “a really bad place” according to Raimondo.
The Governor says that current capacity restrictions will stay in place until November 29. Social gatherings are additionally being limited to those who live in your house as well. Colleges and universities, in addition to bars, recreational venues and indoor sports arenas will be closed during the pause. Houses of worship are limited to 25% capacity per 125 people. Indoor dining is being limited to 33% capacity of your household per table. Retail stores are additionally being permitted to stay open, however, one person is allowed every 100 square feet, says Raimondo.
The percentage of positive COVID tests continues to rise daily, as the current percentage is at 5.8%. As of Friday, November 19, there were a total of 920 confirmed COVID cases in the state along with a total of four deaths.
The two-week pause will work to stop the spike within the state. Rhode Island hospitals are at 97% capacity with COVID cases. Raimondo is referring to the current state of Rhode Island as a “healthcare catastrophe” and claimed that should cases continue to rise the usage of the field hospital set up in Cranston in the beginning of the year.
Governor Raimondo urged Rhode Islanders to follow these new restrictions and asserted that continuing to wear masks and participating in social distancing will additionally help stop the spread within the state and prevent a more drastic shutdown in the coming weeks.