RI Announces 3rd Coronavirus Death; Child Care Licenses Suspended for 1 Week

Gov. Gina Raimondo on Sunday announced Rhode Island's third death from the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of coronavirus cases in the state increased by 55.

The new cases brought the state's total to 294. Raimondo added that 35 people were hospitalized from the disease.

The new numbers came a day after health officials announced the first two deaths in the state from COVID-19. Both of those people -- one in their 80s and another in their 70s -- had underlying health conditions.

No further information about the victims was immediately available.

In a press conference, Raimondo also announced the state would suspend all child care licenses in the state until April 4.

"I just don't think it's safe, for this week, for child care centers to stay open," she said.

The move came after less than a week after Raimondo announced measures to provide child care to parents amid the coronavirus crisis.

On Sunday, the governor estimated only 50 to 60% of residents were complying with social distancing guidelines.

"I am again her asking you, imploring you, directing you, begging you to please knock it off and follow the rules and do the right thing," she said.

On Sunday, she also said a mandatory two-week quarantine for those who travel to Rhode Island for a non-work-related purpose would stand.

Her remarks came shortly after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that Rhode Island would no longer be stopping New Yorkers at their border.

"We will not let New Yorkers be discriminated against," tweeted Cuomo.

Raimondo on Saturday signed an order requiring any person coming to Rhode Island from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days. The order did not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers.

The Rhode Island National Guard started going door to door Saturday in coastal areas to inform any New Yorkers who may have come to the state that they must self-quarantine for 14 days.  

State police began stopping cars with New York plates on Friday, NBC News reported.

On Saturday, Cuomo said that if Gov. Gina Raimondo did not back off the policy he would sue the state, WJAR reported.

Later Saturday, Raimondo signed a new order stating anyone coming to Rhode Island "from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days."

The quarantine restriction does not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.

Raimondo on Saturday issued sweeping measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The moves included a stay-at-home order and banning gatherings of more than five people.

Under the stay-at-home order, which extends through April 13, anyone not leaving the house for food, medical supplies, gas or other essential items must stay home, unless they are essential workers or are taking a walk while social distancing.

Additionally, all non-critical retail stores must close through April 13, including clothing stores and gift shops. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to stay open for takeout and delivery only. The full list of critical and non-critical businesses is available here.

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