THURSDAY CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: 8 Deaths, 277 New Cases

Rhode Island has seen another record high day for the number of coronavirus related deaths and new cases. Governor Gina Raimondo reported 277 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 1727, along with 43 total deaths. 160 people are hospitalized with the virus. Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott says most recent deaths occurred in people in the following age ranges: 20's, 40's 60's, 70's 80's and 90's. When asked about predictive modeling, Raimondo said that the peak number of cases in Rhode Island is projected to happen anywhere between late April and late May.

With testing now reaching 2,000 people per day, Governor Raimondo says that Rhode Island is testing twice as many people per capita as neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut. Due to inclement weather, the drive-thru testing sites will be closed on Thursday afternoon. Raimondo and Alexander-Scott reminded residents that only people with symptoms are eligible to be tested.

During her daily briefing on Thursday, Raimondo announced executive orders regarding quarantine and social distancing standards: Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay in isolation until symptoms have passed, and anyone who comes into close proximity with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-quarantine or 14 days. The governor also said that she is conferring with the RI Dept. of Health and Attorney General's office about possibly enforcing quarantine and/or social distancing rules with penalties, including fines up to hundreds of dollars. .

The food delivery service announced by Raimondo last week, www.ridelivers.com has become overwhelmed, and she has asked that only people who are in quarantine or absolutely unable to get to a grocery store use the service.

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