Rhode Island gets $1.25 billion
Rhode Island is poised to receive about $1.25 billion in federal aid to help bolster state finances.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed also said Wednesday that the $2 trillion economic stimulus plan announced by congressional leaders will, if approved, include direct payments to families, expanded jobless benefits, aid for struggling small businesses, and additional resources for hospitals, medical facilities and other public health institutions.
“The size and scope of this emergency funding is unprecedented, but so is the severity of this pandemic and the economic trauma that families, businesses, and communities are facing,” he said in a statement. “We’re making needed investments in people and our health infrastructure, and strengthening state and local capacity to effectively respond.”
The Rhode Island Democrat was among the leading lawmakers negotiating the bipartisan deal.
Gov. Gina Raimondo hailed the proposal as good news as the state faces a steep drop in revenue from the economic shutdown.
New restrictions are coming to groceries and retail stores still allowed to be open during the pandemic, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Wednesday.
The Democrat said the forthcoming guidelines by the state Department of Business Regulation will restrict the number of people who can be inside the establishments and require stores be cleaned more frequently.
She said far too many retailers are still seeing large crowds, despite the business closures her administration has imposed.
Rhode Island has confirmed eight additional cases of the virus, increasing the total count to more than 130, health officials said Wednesday.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
Rhode Island’s capacity to test people for the virus is getting a boost.
Care New England, the state’s second largest hospital system, has received two machines that can test samples, officials said.
One machine will be in Women & Infants Hospital in Providence and the other at Kent Hospital in Warwick.
Some employees at Rhode Island’s largest hospital group have tested positive for COVID-19.
A “small percentage” of Rhode Island’s total 124 people confirmed to have the disease work for Lifespan, spokeswoman Jane Bruno told WPRI-TV.
The company, which operates Rhode Island, The Miriam, Hasbro Children’s, Bradley and Newport hospitals, did not disclose where the employees worked or in what capacity.
An employee of the state’s psychiatric hospital tested also positive on Tuesday for the disease, prompting 25 patients and four other staffers to be quarantined, state officials said.
Several Rhode Island communities with a significant population of seasonal residents with second homes are asking those people to self-quarantine for two weeks if they come to town.
The directives came from officials in Westerly, Newport and Narragansett.
AIR SHOW CANCELED
The Rhode Island National Guard’s annual air show has been canceled as the agency focuses on its pandemic response, the guard announced Wednesday.
Gov. Gina Raimondo had previously fully activated the state National Guard to assist public health officials and first responders.
The event was to take place in June in North Kingstown.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This content is being provided for free as a public service to our community during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Telegraph at https://home.nashuatelegraph.com/clickshare/checkDelivery.do;jsessionid=40C089D96583CD7318C1C1D9317B6162.