Raimondo pauses phase four re-opening

Main reason is large gatherings of young people
Wed, 07/29/2020 - 1:30pm

Saying that the rate of infection of Covid-19 has creeped up to a level that is not acceptable within the state, Gov. Raimondo today extended phase three guidelines for another 30 days, until Aug. 28.

Raimondo also reduced the number of people allowed in a gathering to 15, down from 25. Indoor seating at restaurants remains at two-thirds capacity, and outdoor seating is capped at 250 until Aug. 28.

After reviewing the numbers, including hospitalizations and deaths related to Covid-19, Raimondo said, “Based on everything, it’s clear we’re not ready to move forward to another phase,” she said at her news conference on Wednesday, July 29. She added, however, “We’re not moving back another phase.”

The governor said that the reason for this was due to the fact that too many new cases are being traced back to gatherings of young people between the ages of 20 and 30.

“It’s these informal social gatherings that are the problem,” said.

She also said that “the grace period” for relaxed enforcement at restaurants and bars was over. Establishments that receive citations will be posted publicly at reopeningri.com.

“We’re going to start to get tougher with enforcement,” she said. “We’ll work with you to get you reopened, but we can no longer take any risks.”

A reporter asked the governor would be sending Department of Business Regulations inspectors out to Block Island.

‘’Every scene is on our radar. It sounds like maybe we have to get back at it,” but she added, ostensibly speaking about inspections on Block Island, “I don’t have a feel for it.”

As for the boats carrying large crowds, Interstate Navigation’s Director of Security, Bill McCombe, reiterated today that all boats are running at 50 percent capacity and there have been an increase to the number of boat runs to meet demand.

Raimondo urged everyone to avoid crowds.

“That’s how you get sick,” she said.

This is a developing story with obvious impacts to Block Island. Check back at blockislandtimes.com and our Facebook page for updates.