Watch: Governor, Director of Health COVID-19 update (March 26th)

Governor Gina Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott will host their daily press briefing on Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19 today at 2:30 pm.

Updates as they happen;

  • Gov: 33 new coronavirus cases in Rhode Island, brings statewide total to 165. Director of Health says they will share much more data this afternoon, but 10 of these people are in their 50’s. More cases in the more populous communities in the state. “The virus is clearly here. The numbers being reported daily are NOT reflective of total number of cases actually in Rhode Island,” Director of Health says. Sites limited testing capabilities.
  • Director of Health: 23 of 165 are hospitalized, 9 in the ICU (6 of those are intubated).
  • Gov says starting tomorrow that any business can access free tech support, staffed by tech expert volunteers from some of RI’s tech companies, to help them figure out how to shift to online. Small businesses can call 521-HELP.
  • Gov. to sign executive order mandating anyone traveling to RI from New York must self-quarantine for 14 days. This includes ground travel (bus, car, train, plane). Also applies to anyone who has visited New York in the last 14 days. Effective immediately. National Guard to station at train and bus stations to enforce. Additionally Rhode Island State Police will be flagging down cars (passenger vehicles) with New York license plates as they come into the state of Rhode Island. Governor says no other police activity will be done during these stops. The Governor will likely have additional announcements in coming days regarding travel from New York.
  • Tests: Gov. says goal is by this time next week to run 1000 tests per day. Today, says it’s only about half that.
  • Director of Health says that if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, sore throat, fever, breathing issues) you must stay hom even if you have not been tested. Even if you have only mild symptoms you must self-quarantine.
  • What’s Up Newp’s question for the Governor today (17:30 in Governor video today) – “Many businesses and event organizers are looking for guidance, how far out do you recommend that they should be looking to reschedule or cancel their events?” Governor says it’s premature today for me to give a date on that, but she is going to work to make it a matter of weeks not months. In part she said, that when the economy can reopen that it will be incremental. They will be looking at what parts of the economy they can open first. Says, “I can say with confidence, the last kind of businesses that can reopen are those that depend on large crowds”. Governor also said in her response to this question that “we are a year away from a vaccine”.

This story is developing, more information to come.