A day after ending her own quarantine due to exposure to staff who tested positive for COVID-19, Governor Gina Raimondo announced Friday that Rhode Island's three week pause will end as scheduled on Monday December 21st. Citing improved data which shows the positivity rate and hospitalizations trending down over the past week, Raimondo said that certain restrictions on businesses like gyms and entertainment venues will be lifted.
However, the governor also cautioned residents to stay vigilant in working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and limiting social gatherings to members of your own household. Raimondo said that future moves to lift restrictions on businesses and gatherings will be rolled out methodically in coming weeks, as the state "turns the dial up slowly."
In her weekly COVID-19 briefing the governor presented data graphs showing that the percent positive rate peaked on December 2nd. The state registered only 395 new cases on Friday, down significantly from the previous few days, but many testing sites were closed on Thursday, due to the snowstorm which dropped up to a foot of snow on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Graph photo: WJAR TV video capture Chart: RI Department of Health