Rhode Island

Raimondo Hopeful RI's Stay-at-Home Order Can Expire

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is looking at data and says if COVID-19 numbers continue to plateau or decline, she may let the order expire

Gov. Gina Raimondo gives an update on the coronavirus during a news conference in the State Room of the Rhode Island State House in Providence, R.I, March 22, 2020.
Kris Craig/Providence Journal via AP

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday she is hopeful that she will be able to let the state's stay-at-home order expire on May 8.

During her Friday news conference at the State House, Raimondo said although nearby states have extended their stay-at-home orders, she is looking at Rhode Island's data and if the state continues to plateau or decline, she will be able to let the order expire.

"We seem to have hit a plateau and that is good news," Raimondo said. "We're not out of the woods. We're certainly not out of the woods."

As of Friday, there were 13 new COVID-19 related deaths in the state, bringing the total number to 279, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. An additional 341 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of cases to 8,962.

The governor outlined her plans for the gradual reopening of public parks and beaches which would begin when the stay-at-home order is over.

Among the parks state officials would reopen during phase one of Raimondo's plan would be Lincoln Woods, Haines Park, Beavertail and Fort Adams.

Raimondo said the parks would be open with reduced parking capacity and increased enforcement of social distancing. Residents would be able to walk and run but cookouts, organized sports and other large gatherings would be prohibited.

Public beaches will not be reopened until the second phase of Raimondo's plan, which could occur around Memorial Day.

Although public schools have moved to remote learning for the rest of the school year, Raimondo said the state is moving to reopening day cares by June 1. The Department of Human Services has asked childcare facilities to submit their plans for safely reopening.

Raimondo said she hopes to announce next week a plan for some hospitals to resume elective surgeries. The governor said hospitals have submitted their plans for resuming such surgeries, which are under review.

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