Rhode Island

Gov. Raimondo Announces End to Pause in RI Reopening

Gov. Gina Raimondo thanked residents for their cooperation, which she credited with helping to curb the state's coronavirus cases.

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Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday that the pause in Rhode Island's reopening process would end after the weekend.

Raimondo thanked residents for their cooperation, which she credited with helping to curb the state's coronavirus cases.

"After a few months of numbers ticking up week after week, we're starting to see our numbers turn around and begin to trend in the right direction," Raimondo said. "For the first time in over two months, all three arrows are pointing down. That's a big deal."

As Raimondo explained, those arrows represent sustained improvements in percent positivity, new cases and new hospitalizations.

"Frankly, we know why that is. It's because we hit the pause button, and Rhode Islanders listened and were fantastic through the pause," said Raimondo. "So I want to say, 'Thank you.'"

The pause will end Sunday, with the state's reopening resuming Monday. But Raimondo urged the public to continue to take precautions, particularly during the holidays.

"I'm asking you, please, to celebrate with the people that you live with, and bear in mind that outside is much safer than inside, and of course, you want to be wearing your masks," Raimondo said.

Beginning Monday, indoor dining can increase capacity to 50%, venues of assembly can reopen at 25% capacity with a maximum of 125 people, gyms and sports facilities as well as indoor recreation can reopen with one person per 150 sq. feet.

In-person learning will still be allowed for pre-K through eighth grade and high schools will be limited.

Social gatherings involving people from different households remain prohibited.

More information can be found at ReopeningRI.com, Raimondo noted.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced on Thursday the state would institute a two-week pause starting at the end of November to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Additionally, Raimondo announced a change in the state's COVID-19 dashboard to include vaccine data.

"That, for me, is fantastic and thrilling and a relief that we've begun the vaccination process," she said.

On Monday, Dr. Christian Arbelaez of Rhode Island Hospital became the first person in the Ocean State to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Rhode Island officials previously detailed the timeline of the state's vaccine rollout.

Health care workers, first responders and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are among the first to be able to get the vaccine. In phase two, teachers, school staff, child care workers, people in prisons and jails and older adults will be able to get the vaccine.

Raimondo was in quarantine until Friday. She said she tested negative every day for the last week and a half. Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, is at home after testing positive, but is asymptomatic, according to Raimondo.

NBC10 Boston and Associated Press
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