Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo praised Rhode Islanders Saturday for adhering to social distancing measures that have reduced the rate of infections, deaths, and hospitalizations in her state.
The number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continues to rise, however, and Raimondo estimated that the peak in the state would come by the end of April or beginning of May.
There have been 4,491 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Rhode Island out of 32,826 tests. So far, 137 people died from coronavirus in the state, Raimondo said.
Raimondo said her state was currently testing roughly 2,000 people a day for the disease, but that those numbers would need to increase dramatically before any firm decisions could be made regarding reopening the economy.
More precautions: An order requiring nearly all essential workers to wear cloth face coverings went into effect today, the governor stated. The order also requires customer-facing businesses to remind and encourage customers to wear face coverings. Children under 2-years-old and those whose health would be adversely affected by wearing a mask are excluded, she said, but noted that if a resident's health would be harmed by wearing a mask, they shouldn't be in public right now.
The governor said that she expects to have regulations in place that would allow garden centers in the state to open for limited business by April 27.
Raimondo also announced a Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund, which has already distributed $126,000 to roughly 250 artists statewide.