On Friday Oct 30th, the Governor implemented a number of new restrictions in response to the State's increasing COVID-19 numbers. The Governor indicated these restrictions are the first of a two part strategy, and additional information will come out next week, likely on Thursday. The goal is to have a strategic and targeted approach to reduce COVID-19 numbers in the state, while limiting the impact on commerce. In reviewing the data, the majority of COVID-19 cases are coming from unstructured, informal, social settings - when people are with those they are comfortable with, feel safe with, and they are letting their guard down. This can't happen - we need to remain vigilant at all times. The State's COVID-19 numbers are increasing, at a concerning rate. The Governor indicated - Rhode Island is 1 million people strong - and we all need to ask ourselves, "what can we do right now, today, to make a difference?"
The updated restrictions are summarized below. Watch the Governor's full Press Conference and read the full Executive Order 20-90 online.
The social gathering limit has now been reduced from 15 to 10, and people are strongly encouraged to keep their overall contacts limited to this same small group of people. People should wear masks anytime they are interacting with anyone outside their household (someone who does not live with them).
✔️Houses of Worship
The Governor has not reduced the capacity of houses of worship, but encouraged religious leaders to broadcast/live-stream services so vulnerable populations can remain at home.
✔️Hospital/Nursing Home Visitation
The Governor announced that visitation to hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities would be limited for two weeks while operators develop a COVID compliance plan.
✔️Sporting Facilities / Events
Indoor sporting facilities such has hockey rinks will be closed from Nov. 2-8 while operators develop an enhanced COVID compliance plan. Spectators are also prohibited from attending sporting events or practices, except for athletes age 10 or younger.
The Governor encouraged employers to let employees work from home to the greatest extent possible. She also asked employers to discourage carpooling. The Commerce Corporation has a new $5M program to help employers implement remote work. Additional information is available at https://commerceri.com/tech-support-covid-19-1/.
✔️Mask Compliance in Places of Business
In addition to requiring that employers require mask usage of employees, the Governor said that employers must also now remind customers/visitors to wear masks.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Town's COVID-19 webpage.