Asst. News Editor
PROVIDENCE, R.I.,-- As COVID cases reach a newfound spike in Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a stay at home order in an attempt to soften the curve. Rhode Island currently has 1,246 COVID cases, and the number seems to rise daily.
The recent drop in temperature and increased amount of large social gatherings taking place statewide, COVID-19 cases have continued to spike. On Thursday, the Department of Health set a new record for the third day in a row of COVID-19 cases as 630 cases in one day with a 3.7% positive rate. The number of cases reported on Thursday surpasses the previous record of 566 new cases the day before.
Raimondo instructed Rhode Islanders to be at home after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. on weekends. The stay at home order will not be strictly enforced throughout the state, however, police will monitor the streets and are encouraging people to stay indoors.
In addition, there have been revisions made to Stage 3 such as the new curfew. Restaurants, gyms, bars, and recreational facilities are required to close at 10 p.m. latest. Indoor events may not exceed 25 people, outdoor events can not exceed 75 and big box stores are required to only allow 1 square foot per person.
Furthermore, Raimondo has ordered that restaurants halt indoor dining and only do takeout and has cancelled all out-of-state travel for work or sports related events. These revised rules are going to impact businesses around the state in regard to the monetary revenue in which they generate.
Raimondo has received backlash from local businesses, and has decided to distribute grants ranging anywhere from $2,000-$10,000 based on the revenue of the business. Raimondo stated “If in the course of the next two weeks, the seven regulations results in lower mobility, fewer crowds, better mask-wearing, fewer parties, fewer people out and about, then we’ll have confidence that they are going to lead to the results we need.” The Governor also stated that if the changes in behavior aren’t strictly followed and cases continue to rise, another lockdown is possible.
At Rhode Island College, there have been 44 cases of COVID-19 amongst the RIC community since the beginning of the school year. In the last week, three students have tested positive all of whom were off-campus students.