As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, Gina Raimondo, the Governor of Rhode Island, recently announced that the state will enter a “two-week pause,” during which community gatherings will be severely limited in order to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. The pause will be in effect until December 13th.
This order comes after public health officials have expressed concern over a potential spike in COVID cases following the Thanksgiving holiday.
During Rhode Island’s pause, areas in which community gatherings occur will be designated as “open,” “limited,” or “closed.”
Among the services that will be shut down are recreational facilities, including indoor pools. Collegiate and professional sports will not be affected.
The areas that remain fully open during this time include pre-K schools, childcare facilities, manufacturing and construction sites, personal services, and health care services.
Other services will remain open in a limited capacity, including high schools, restaurants, retailers, and houses of worship.
Gov. Raimondo said the following of these changes:
“I know that this isn’t easy — I’m going to be missing seeing my extended family in-person this year too. But the amount of community transmission is too high right now to take a chance, no matter how safe you may feel. Choosing to gather across multiple households puts yourself, the people you are with, and anyone you interact with for the next two weeks in danger of getting the virus. So while this may not be easy, it’s necessary, and I hope that you’ll find a way to celebrate with friends and family remotely. If we all do it, we can turn things around and save lives. We’re all in this together.”
According to New York Times data, the state of Rhode Island is averaging 879 new daily cases over the last week, which is more than double the state’s total in the ‘first wave’ of the pandemic in late April. The 27 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Monday matches June 8 the state’s highest single day total, though the state typically reports no deaths on weekends and load those into Monday reporting.
The state admitted its first patients into its ‘field hospitals,’ on Monday. These makeshift spaces are designed to take overflow when regular hospitals fill up. There are currently over 400 people hospitalized in the state with complications from COVID-19.