coronavirus in new england

No Plans for Shelter in Place in RI, Gov. Says, as Coronavirus Cases Rise to 44

Officials reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday

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Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday said she had no plans to issue a shelter-in-place order in Rhode Island despite nearly a dozen new cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

"I want to avoid (a shelter-in-place order). That would be truly crushing to our economy," Raimondo said, adding she hoped that social distancing would slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Her comments came as health officials reported 11 new cases of the disease, bringing the state's total to 44.

Criticizing the response by the Trump administration as "lacking," Raimondo, a Democrat, said the state was focused on securing swabs for testing as well as protective gear for health care workers such as gloves, masks and gowns.

She asked anyone who had access to such supplies, including manufacturers, dentists and suppliers, to visit the Rhode Island Department of Health's website for information about making donations.

Raimondo earlier in the week announced that public schools in Rhode Island would transition to distance learning for two weeks starting Monday, March 23, through April 3.

Utility companies also will not be allowed to suspend services for nonpayment or pass outstanding accounts to a collection agency.

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