Governor Gina Raimondo and DOH director Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott gave the COVID-19 press briefing today at 1pm.
The governor began the briefing today by calling the data an “inspiring set of information.” Today DOH only had 67 new positive cases to report. Saturday saw only 107 new cases, with Sunday seeing 106. Currently 195 people are hospitalized, down from the weekend when it was over 200. Forty-six people today are in the ICU, with 29 people on ventilators. Of the two new deaths, one person was in their 70s and one was in their 90s. Overall the state’s positive test rate has hovered between 2% and 4% of total tests each day.
The Department of Business Regulation in conjunction with state police conducted inspections of businesses over the weekend. Raimondo reported over 95% of customers in businesses wearing masks, and 100% of employees wearing masks at the businesses they inspected. “That’s amazing,” she said. “That’s what we wanna see, that’s gonna keep us healthy.”
On the other hand, only 70% of those opened businesses had COVID plans ready. The governor stressed she expected full compliance, and that every business should have their COVID-19 control plan ready to be shown to state officials at a moment’s notice.
Today during questions, the governor and Dr. Alexander-Scott were asked for clarification for dentists and if they would be providing more PPE. Dr. Alexander-Scott answered they were continuing to work with the oral health industry and providing as much PPE as possible to each business.
Raimondo today was on a phone call with President Trump, where the President repeated his opinion that governors and mayors should dominate rowdy protesting crowds. The governor displayed her disagreement today saying, “All of us need to do whatever we can to ratchet down the violence and ratchet up listening with empathy and sincerity.”
The governor said she was going to do what she needed to do to keep Rhode Island safe, but also acknowledged COVID-19 made many existing racial and economic inequities worse. She also stated people congregating in large crowds like the 1,000+ people who attended protests on Saturday made her worried of an outbreak. “I don’t think a heavy handed approach to peaceful protesting is a good strategy,” said the governor. She said her office was working on testing and preventing an outbreak.
Press conferences for the rest of the week will be at 1pm, except Wednesday’s which is currently scheduled for 2:30pm. As always, you can watch the pressers on local news, on Facebook Live or Capitol TV. Motif will have its summary of the governors comments and answers up later that afternoon.