THURSDAY 4/16 COVID-19 UPDATE: RI Peak Projected April 27 to May 3.

For the first time, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo spoke about the data models intended to predict the number of coronavirus cases that the state could experience. At her Thursday press conference, the governor presented two scenarios, or growth curves, showing the predictions of the number of potential hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

The "best estimate," which assumes strict adherence to social distancing shows 2,250 hospitalizations by May 3rd. The "higher scenario," which assumes that social distancing is not being strictly followed, shows 4,300 people hospitalized by April 27th. The governor points out that the level of commitment to social distancing accounts for almost a 100% difference between the two projections, but says she is confident that the state will be closer to the "best estimate" or possibly even better. There are currently 245 people in the hospital due to the coronavirus. In her daily briefing Raimondo repeatedly pleaded with Rhode Islanders to stay vigilant about social distancing and face coverings, saying that those things will make the biggest distance in "flattening the curve."

The latest data shows 309 new cases in RI since Wednesday, bringing the total to 3,838. The state has also recorded its highest one-day death total, with 18 new fatalities.

Governor Raimondo had hoped this week to address the timeline regarding distance learning in the state, but says she will hold off on that at least until next week, due to the fact that the peak is potentially just two weeks away and more time is needed to look at projections and evidence. At the moment, distance learning for all K-12 students is scheduled to continue through April 30th.

photo: WJAR NBC10 video

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