Rhode Island

RI to Open Walk-Up Testing Site as Coronavirus Cases Soar in Latino Community

The governor said 45 percent of the state's 4,706 reported cases were among people who identify as Latino.

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A testing center that will allow both walk-in patients and those in cars will open in Providence in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the hard-hit Latino community, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said Sunday.

In a news conference, Raimondo said the site would open at Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School, adding the location would be accessible to many in the Latino community and patients could drive or walk to the site.

The site will open Tuesday, according to the Providence Journal.

The governor said 45 percent of the state's 4,706 reported cases were among people who identify as Latino.

"We need to do more, we need to do better," she said, adding her administration was investigating why the Latino population had been hit so hard. "We will stay on it until we do a better job."

Raimondo stressed people must have an appointment before going to the site. People with symptoms should call a doctor, urgent care center or the Department of Public Health.

Gov. Raimondo says a partnership with SalesForce.com will make contact tracing process more efficient, scalable.

Meanwhile, health officials on Sunday announced 13 new deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the state's death toll to 150.

Raimondo's remarks came a day after an executive order requiring all workers to wear masks went into effect.

Under the order, all employees in customer-facing businesses, office-based businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits and construction workers are required to wear a cloth face mask that covers their nose and mouth when they are at work.

Businesses must remind their customers to wear face coverings. The only exceptions are for anyone whose health would be in jeopardy because of wearing a face covering or children under the age of two.

Raimondo said state inspectors had conducted spot-checks on businesses Saturday and that compliance was "pretty good."

Raimondo has said the virus is expected to peak in the state sometime between the last week of April and the first week of May.

Rhode Island's stay-at-home order is in effect until May 8.

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