Gov. Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island continues to stay "ahead of the curve" in response to the coronavirus pandemic but still wants people to get tested for COVID-19, even if they don't feel sick.
"Rhode Island is faring much, much better than other states that are seeing cases go up," Raimondo said Wednesday during her regular news conference.
The governor said that, by Friday, health officials believe 20% of Rhode Islanders will have been tested for the new coronavirus. This will be the most of any state, Raimondo said, adding that the positive test rate is among the lowest in the U.S.
"It doesn't mean the virus is gone. We just got used to living with it," she said.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health reported 11 additional COVID-19 deaths for a total of 876. There were 49 additional cases, for a total of 16,213.
Despite the lower numbers, Raimondo reiterated the need for Rhode Islanders without symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested in order to avoid any future outbreaks.
"Think of it as doing your part," Raimondo said, urging those who work in close-contact jobs, like salons, barbershops, gyms and child care facilities, to go and get a free test.
With many testing locations already scattered throughout the state, the governor said four new asymptomatic testing sites are being added at Stop & Shops in Cranston, Pawtucket and Providence.
More on the Coronavirus in Rhode Island
On Monday, the governor announced Rhode Island students would be able to take part in expanded online learning over the summer and have the opportunity to attend camps.
Any student who feels they fell behind in the last couple of months due to online learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, can now sign up for Summer Academy for Integrated Learning (SAIL) with PrepareRI.
The free program, for Pre-K through Grade 12, will provide project-based learning, student-led seminars and other learning opportunities.
Students will also be able to attend summer camps beginning June 29. Previously, the governor had said only sports camps could reopen.
Some of the rules summer camps must follow include keeping children in groups of 15 or less, screening for illness and requiring adults to wear cloth face masks.
Another initiative Raimondo announced Monday was summer jobs for youth through the Governor's Workforce Board. The new program, funded by the board, will allow youth ages 16 through 24 to "contribute to the COVID-19 recovery, serve their community, build workplace skills and earn money."