WARWICK — Last week, health officials raised alarm about RI COVID-19 cases showing the percent testing positive at 2.0, then this week it rose to 2.9 percent, bringing stricter limits on gatherings as well as renewed calls for distancing, masks and hand-washing.
Social Gathering (Party/Visits) Limit – 10:Effective immediately, the social gathering limit is now 10.
This must be a stable, consistent group.
Write down the names of the people you’re going to see socially.
Even with these few people, masks are a must.
The limit does not apply to offices, buses, schools, and other controlled settings with assigned seating and other public health measures in place. This is because spread is happening in casual, social settings, not in larger but more structured environments.
“To anyone who does have big parties, we’ll shut you down, and we’ll fine you up to $500 for every person there. It’s not worth it. For the next few weeks, let’s avoid social events and only see the people that we need to see,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement Friday.
Sports – No spectators, Indoor events suspended 1 week
The only exception is for players 10 and younger, who can have one parent or guardian with them while they play.
Effective on Monday, RI is closing all ice rinks and indoor sports facilities for one week.
“This will allow us to work with the facilities and develop new guidance around masking, testing, contact tracing, and other health protocols,” Raimondo said.
Houses of Worship: Virtue in Virtual
“If any faith leaders are no longer offering virtual services, we’re asking them to bring that back, and proactively encourage your congregants to use that option for the next few weeks. I want to be able to hold in-person services over the holidays, but that will be dangerous unless we make a real commitment to worshipping virtually for the next few weeks,” Raimondo said.
Hospitals, Nursing Home Visits: Give it two weeks
Since the increase in hospitalizations is driven by 60, 70, and 80-year olds, the RI Department of Health will be working with nursing homes and hospitals to scale back on visitation.
“Except for certain circumstances, we want people to refrain from visiting your loved ones for just a couple of weeks. I know this is painful, and I know how much our older relatives rely on these visits. But if we don’t do this now, we’ll have no choice but to do it for a much longer period in a few weeks, and in that time, we’ll have lost more Rhode Islanders to this virus,” Raimondo said.
Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.