RHODE ISLAND – Gov. Gina Raimondo announced another small climb in new cases on Wednesday, and limited new fatalities.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, there are 41 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state-wide case total to 17,204 since the onset of the pandemic.
At the moment, there are 56 individuals being hospitalized. Five are being treated in intensive care units and five more are on ventilators.
New cases in Rhode Island remain low, despite sustained testing efforts. The previous day, 3,383 Rhode Islanders were tested.
Unfortunately, Raimondo also announced two new COVID-19-related fatalities.
"Every single day, Rhode Islanders die from this virus," she said. "That ought to be a harsh and stark reminder to every one of us that people die if we don't follow the rules."
"It's on us to do everything we can," she added.
The virus has harshly impacted the Ocean State, and although Rhode Island is starting to get back on it's feet, and there isn't a person in Rhode Island who isn't struggling in some way because of it, according to Raimondo.
"In the blink of an eye, we could be back where we were," she said.
This Wednesday was Raimondo's first press conference since the long holiday weekend, and she was happy to repost that, overall, things went very well in the Ocean State.
Although the beaches were busy, parking lots never meet capacity, she said. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management was also presents at many state beaches and parks to help remind visitors of rules and guidelines, and to hand out thousands of masks.
By and large, she said that most people were compliant.
Restaurants were also largely compliment, according to Raimondo, though roughly 20 percent are still not taking down the name and number of someone in the dining party – something that's essential to contact tracing if another outbreak were to occur.
The state will also be coming out with updated regulations and fines later today for those who egregiously violate compliance guidelines.
"Our goal is not to be heavy handed," Raimondo said, but to prevent the types of surges and outbreaks being seeing in Florida, Arizona and other parts of the country.
For out-of-state travelers who are still hope to visit the Ocean State this summer, travel is permitted for persons coming from states where positive testing rates are below 5 percent.
Those who are coming from states that exceed this percentage can still visits, though there's more hoops to jump though. If visitors do not want to self isolate for 14 days upon arrival, they can get tested before leaving their home state or once they arrive in Rhode Island.
Those who opt to get tested before they make the trip must receive a negative test within 72 hours of their arrival, according to Raimondo, or pay out of pocket to be tested at one of 10 sites already up and running in Rhode Island.
The out-of-pocket expenses will be a little more than $100, she said, and visitors will have to wait in isolation for a negative test result.
"We want you to come, we just want you to follow the rules and be safe," Raimondo said.
Rhode Island Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott also announced that as of today, nursing homes can begin accepting visitors.
Although the visits will need to be kept short and be subject to many rules and regulations, residents can look forward to receiving their first visit in months.