PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island's current coronavirus regulations will stay in place for another month, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday. The state will "stay the course" in the coming weeks, the governor said, relying on its established systems to continue to steer through the pandemic.
The latest messaging is in line with the governor's previous call to "protect your household," which includes making sure to wear masks when around anyone outside the immediate household, avoiding social gatherings and getting tested frequently.
Raimondo's Wednesday news conference was the first time she addressed the public since Dec. 22. Since then, the state has seen moderate improvement in its coronavirus data, which she called "a reasonably good news story."
"Where do we go from here? Stay the course," Raimondo said. "We have the systems, they are well-working and robust."
The current regulations have been in place since Rhode Island's three-week "pause" ended before the December holidays. These regulations are summarized below.
Indoor dining: Capacity raised from 33 percent to 50 percent; only one household per table
Venues of assembly: Allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity, with a maximum of 125 people
Gyms: Allowed to reopen with one person per 150 square foot
Indoor recreation facilities: Allowed to reopen with one person per 150 square foot
In-person school: Preschool through Eighth grade open, high school limited at districts' discretion. Higher education remote only.
Child care: Open
Manufacturing and construction: open
Personal services (salons, barbers, etc): open
The only expected change is for school sports, which are not allowed under the current regulations. The state is working with the Rhode Island Interscholastic League in an effort to amend these regulations and allow students to play winter sports. More information is expected next week.
Rhode Island is currently "on a good path," Raimondo said, though it's important for Rhode Islanders to remain vigilant and follow the regulations to keep the spread of the virus slow throughout the vaccination effort.
"We are not out of the woods, but I'm relieved to see a 5 percent [daily] positivity rate and the lowest hospitalizations since November," Raimondo said.
The governor again encouraged Rhode Islanders to get tested frequently to help quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic positive cases in the state.