Raimondo’s Focus Is on Our Most Vulnerable: Summary of the governor’s May 21 press conference

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Providence Pedestrian Bridge.

Today Governor Gina Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott held the daily press briefing at 1pm. The COVID-19 data is as follows: There are 189 new positive cases, 254 people are currently hospitalized, 56 are in the ICU, and 41 are on ventilators. There are 18 new deaths in RI: two people in their 50s, two in their 60s, six in their 70s, six in their 80s and two in their 90s.

Two days ago the governor announced they were launching the Crush COVID app for smartphones. Today the governor announced in the past 48 hours since launch, 25,000 Rhode Islanders downloaded the app. Raimondo stressed today that privacy was the utmost concern, saying that the application did not access any phone contacts on the phone.

The app does not work on older smartphones, which automatically excludes about 20% of residents. When asked for a comment by Motif, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said the same resources on the app were available online, and stressed that it was key the state hears that kind of feedback.

The governor today talked about the team the state has put together. Made up of several state departments and agencies, the team has received calls from 44 nursing homes representing more than 3,000 Rhode Islanders. The team makes an assessment, and the National Guard is deployed to teach them PPE guidelines, infection control. “Data is crystal clear,” said the governor. “The most vulnerable is the sick, the elderly and our nursing homes.”

Nursing homes completed a first round of cyclical testing last week. From here on out, nursing homes and their staff will be tested every 7 to 10 days. With around 80% of Rhode Island’s fatalities coming from nursing homes, the governor said today she wished we could do better. Nursing homes aren’t set up or infection control, she noted. Nursing homes are seeing a slight decrease in positive cases, and the governor said it means they were reaching toward their goals.

Tomorrow’s press conference is at 1pm. You can watch it on local news, FacebookLive, or Capitol TV.