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Crush COVID RI App Launched Today: Summary of the governor’s May 19 press conference

Governor Gina Raimondo opened her press conference on the state of COVID-19 in RI with the latest statistics: Today 26 people in RI died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 500, and today 134 more cases of COVID-19 were reported. After giving her condolences to the families of victims, the governor urged Rhode Islanders, “Above all, stay home if you’re sick!” It’s not just about a person being sick and more vulnerable to COVID-19; it’s about not putting others at risk, which happens when a sick person goes out.

The biggest news today also happened to be good news: the Crush COVID RI app is now out and available for free on Google Play and the App Store. In her talk, the governor mentioned a few of the app’s key features:

— For those who have tested positive and do not have a place to safely isolate themselves, the app can help them find options 

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— Testing options 

— Options for food delivery 

— A location tracker that, with the user’s consent, records where the user has been. If the user has tested positive for COVID-19, then the user may choose to share their location diary with the Department of Health. Note: To protect RI’s data and privacy rights, the data is stored ONLY on the user’s phone, and the data shared with the Department of Health is registered with an ID number and not the individual’s name. 

Though the app is optional, the governor says it’ll work best and put systems in place so more businesses can safely open if people use it. Though downloading it is your choice, the governor says,“I, however, am asking you to do this.” At the very least, she says, keep a pen-and-paper location diary. And for those without smartphones, people can always call the COVID Hotline at 401-222-8022 or visit the website: health.ri.gov/crushcovid With the app and being the number one state for testing, the governor says, “My hope is that together we the people of Rhode Island will crush COVID.”

Also, another good piece of news: childcare facilities are on track to reopen on June 1. Of course, it’ll be different and changes include mask-wearing, so the governor reported 50,000 masks have been given to childcare facilities to “keep kids safe.” 

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