Rhode Island

RI Gov. Raimondo Announces Stay-at-Home Advisory, More COVID Restrictions

The seven temporary restrictions will begin Sunday and last for two weeks, Gov. Gina Raimondo said

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Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday announced seven new temporary restrictions, including a stay-at-home advisory, in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Speaking at her weekly news conference, Raimondo said the new restrictions will begin Sunday and last for two weeks.

A stay at home advisory will be put in place as part of the temporary restrictions, Raimondo said. It will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekends.

"By and large, we want everyone home with the people they live with by 10 p.m.," Raimondo said. "I'm asking for voluntary compliance."

All restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities and personal services in Rhode Island must close by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. on weekends. Take out service, however, can still be offered by restaurants, the governor said.

Another restriction is that the capacity limit for indoor venues like performing arts, movie theaters and houses of worship will be reduced to 50% with a maximum of 125 people. The outdoor venue limit is 66% and a maximum of 150 people.

Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday urged Rhode Islanders to plan their Thanksgiving holidays ahead and to not travel in order to keep cases of the coronavirus down.

There will also be capacity limits at catered events like weddings, Raimondo said. That limit is now 25 people indoors and 75 outdoors -- with exceptions for previously scheduled events.

Last week, Raimondo decreased the social gathering limit from 15 to 10.

She added that, not only should people not socialize in large groups, they should limit the total number of people they see.

Another temporary COVID restriction announced Thursday will be a capacity limit of one person per 150 square feet at big box stores.

The governor is also asking Rhode Island businesses to postpone non-essential travel for their employees until cases come down.

Lastly, Rhode Island's mask guidance has been updated and face coverings are required with people you don't live with, including outside and at the gym.

The governor said after two weeks of the restrictions being in place, health officials are hoping to measure compliance and see where things stand. Raimondo said a shutdown is possible if residents don't comply with the restrictions.

"We have to take our medicine. We can take our medicine now, or we can take our medicine later," Raimondo said. "If we take the medicine now, change our behavior and reign in our social activity, the medicine's not going to be that bad and isn't going to have to last that long."

Rhode Island reported 566 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday and an additional eight deaths. There have now been 1,222 confirmed deaths and 35,750 cases, according to the Rhode Island Department of Public Health.

The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, stands at 3.6%, according to Thursday's report.

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