Raimondo announces new plans for Phase 2, new funding for housing relief program

Raimondo announces new plans for Phase 2, new funding for housing relief program

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, provided an update Thursday on Rhode Island’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Guidance for personal services, restaurants, and youth sports reopenings in Phase 2 will be available on www.ReopeningRI.com .

Raimondo also announced that the state will be making available an additional $5 million in funding for the Housing Help RI emergency rental assistance fund. This money is available to lower income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other fees. For information, go to HousingHelpRI.com or call 211.

COVID-19 Data Update:
RIDOH announced 124 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing Rhode Island’s case count to 14,494. RIDOH also announced 22 additional COVID-19 associated fatalities. Rhode Island’s number of COVID-19 associated fatalities was 677 as of Thursday. 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 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.