Raimondo outlines Phase Two of reopening, hopes to begin June 1

Raimondo outlines Phase Two of reopening, hopes to begin June 1

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina Raimondo outlined plans for Phase Two of reopening the state during a Friday press briefing. The governor said she hopes Phase Two will begin on June 1, depending on data trends.

Raimondo signed an executive order extending all current directives – including the five-person limit on social gatherings, the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to Rhode Island from another state, and all of the current business and restaurant restrictions – until June 1.

"In Phase Two, we’re going to be navigating our way forward. Our focus is on getting more Rhode Islanders back to work while continuing to prioritize public health and safety. Everything is still going to feel different – but most sectors of the economy will see some form of reopening, and we’re going to get back to doing a lot of the things we’ve missed. Today, I want to talk about what life looks like in Phase Two, said Raimondo.

• Social Gatherings: In Phase Two, the social gathering limit will be 15 people. The rules around it are still the same: you still need to practice social distancing, you still need to wear your face covering, and you shouldn’t be seeing a different 15 people every day.

• Travel: In Phase Two, the travel restrictions will largely lift – with distinctions. The 14-day quarantine will only be in place for those returning to Rhode Island from an area still under stay-at-home order or similar type of restriction.

• Restaurants: In Phase Two, indoor dining will be allowed at up to 50% capacity. There will still be many other restrictions in place around cleaning, common areas, mask wearing and spacing out tables.

• Retail: In Phase Two, capacity restrictions will continue to be relaxed so more people will be allowed in a store at one time. Malls will be allowed to reopen – with restrictions. People won’t be able to gather in a food court or hang out in large groups in common spaces, but more of the retails stores will be allowed to open.

• Offices: Everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. In Phase Two, if it is necessary that some of an office's workforce be on-site, business can allow up to 1/3 of their workforce to return. Everyone is going to have to continue taking precautions around cleaning, screening, social distancing, and most importantly, staying home if you’re sick and completing a coronavirus control plan template.

• Haircare and Personal Services: In Phase 2, hair services including barbershops, salons, and hair braiders will all reopen with capacity restrictions. In addition, many other personal close-contact services – nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, tattoos – will reopen. The person performing the services will have to wear a mask, and the customer will have to wear a mask as long as practically possible. Customers should make appointments to avoid crowded waiting areas . Customers will have to space out, and cleaning will be very important.

• Gyms and Fitness Studios: In Phase Two, gyms and fitness studios will reopen with restrictions. Group fitness classes will also be allowed to resume. The focus is going to be maintaining your social distance, keeping your group consistent and planning ahead. Fitness centers will be asked to go with a reservation system so they can prevent overcrowding and keep people socially distant. If you take a class, you should stay with the same consistent group.

• Outdoor Entertainment and Recreation: This virus thrives in crowded spaces, and so theaters and concert halls will need to wait to reopen – places where maintaining social distancing is challenging. In phase Two the state will start to allow outdoor activities to come back. This includes things like going to the zoo and outdoor activities such as mini golf and boat rentals, and visits to areas such as public gardens and the outdoor ground of historical sites.

A template for this control plan is available at www.reopeningri.com .

The Rhode Island Department of Health announced 170 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing Rhode Island’s case count to 13,736. RIDOH also announced 23 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities was 579 as of Friday. A full data summary for Rhode Island is posted online at https://ri-department-of-health-covid-19-data-rihealth.hub.arcgis.com .

Key messages for the public:
• Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or health care).
• The people who live with that person and who have been in direct close contact with that person should self-quarantine for 14 days after the last day that that person was in isolation. Direct close contact means being within approximately 6 feet of a person for a prolonged period.
• Help is available for people living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Visit www.RIDelivers.com [ridelivers.com] for connections to groceries, home supplies, restaurants, and mutual aid groups. People can also call 2-1-1.
• When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas.
• Groups of more than five people should not be gathering. Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
• People who think they have COVID-19 should call their health care provider. Do not go directly to a health care facility without first calling a health care provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
• People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public.

Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
• Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.