Rhode Island

Raimondo to Make Decision When Phase 3 Will Begin on Monday

Rhode Island is currently in Phase 2 of the state's economic reopening plan which is scheduled to end Monday

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Gov. Gina Raimondo says she will announce Monday when Rhode Island will officially start Phase 3 of the state's economic reopening plan.

Speaking at her Friday news conference, Raimondo said she wants the weekend to further assess the current situation and what is happening in other states before she makes the decision official. Unless extended, Phase 2 of reopening is scheduled to end at the end of Monday.

"I don't want to have to go back a phase," Raimondo said, adding that she does not want to shut down businesses or not have children return to school in August.

She asked residents to continue to "follow the rules" by social distancing, washing hands, wearing cloth masks and not going out if they are sick.

"If you get angry when asked to put on a mask, you put others in jeopardy," she added.

As of Friday, the state's death toll from the coronavirus reached 927 as health officials announced seven additional fatalities. The state has reported 16,661 cases overall.

"We really have an excellent trend. We continue to see an excellent trend," Raimondo said.

Last week, Raimondo said that during Phase 3, the state would raise the limits for indoor social gatherings from 50 to 75 people and outdoor social gatherings from 75 to 150 people. But because of the rising numbers of coronavirus cases in other states, the governor said state officials are reaccessing what the Phase 3 limits should be on larger-scale events.

Currently, the state is currently in Phase 2 of its reopening process, during which the limit on outdoor gatherings is 15 people.

While most businesses have already been allowed to reopen in Phase 2, the governor said in Phase 3, "essentially everything will be reopened in some form or fashion."

In the next phase, movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, museums and cultural institutions will be able to reopen at 66% capacity or 100 square feet per person, Raimondo said.

Friday's press conference comes after Raimondo announced Wednesday that no-contact and low-contact youth and adult sports will be allowed in Phase 3 of Rhode Island's economic reopening.

During her Wednesday news conference, Raimondo said sports such as baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be allowed to be played in stable groups of the same players and coaches with no limit on overall group size.

Games will be able to be played between teams within Rhode Island and outside the state as long as there is no stay at home order in the other state, Raimondo said.

Spectators will be allowed at games but no more than two spectators per player and they must wear masks.

The governor said rules for fall interscholastic sports will be detailed later in the summer.

Also during Friday's news conference, Raimondo reminded parents who have not had their children immunized, to do so. She said since the pandemic, the state has seen a 52% drop in immunization rates in children between the ages of 2 and 7.

In a COVID-19 update, Gov. Gina Raimondo provides an update on summer camp openings.
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