COVID-19 Update: Health Dept. Calls For Wearing Masks to be "Default"

Following up on yesterday's stern warning about an increase in COVID-19 cases, Governor Gina Raimondo and RI Health Dept. Director Nicole Alexander-Scott asked Rhode Island residents on Thursday to wear masks anytime they are in the presence of someone from outside their household. The updated state guidelines call for wearing masks to be the "default" practice in all situations when you are with someone who does not live with you, including both indoor and outdoor settings. The suggestion of wearing masks even in small, familiar groups is considered a "guideline" and is not mandated by executive order.

Additionally the governor and Health Department issued the following guidelines:

  • Holidays:
  • The governor encourages Halloween parties to be canceled. Parties of more than 15 people will be subject to being shut down and fined $500 per person.
  • Trick or treating will be allowed. It is highly recommended that it be done before dark.
  • Trick or treating guidelines include small groups and wearing masks.
  • Travel for Thanksgiving is highly discouraged. More announcements to come next week.
  • Work Place/ Break Rooms:
  • Employers are encouraged to allow employees to continue working from home for as long as possible.
  • Employers are asked to make it easier for workers to get to work without carpooling.
  • All employee break rooms are ordered to be closed for 90 days. (does not include managed cafeterias)
  • Employers are asked to find ways to give employees more space for breaks, including going outdoors.

photo: WJAR TV Screen capture graphic: RI Dept. of Health