More fans now allowed at high school sports events

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is relaxing some restrictions on youth and high school sports on Monday, including allowing more fans at the games and permitting more close contact sports.

Larger crowds are now permitted at indoor facilities, meaning fans beyond immediate family can now attend, although capacity is still limited and masks are required.

High-risk indoor sports, such as wresting, will also be able to resume competition.

On May 7, masks will go from being required to recommended when outdoors and three weeks later capacity limits will be completely lifted.

After Memorial Day, out of state teams can begin visiting Rhode Island to again for games and tournaments.

The changes were announced last week.

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HEALTH DEPARTMENT DATA

The Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday reported more than 600 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three more virus-related deaths in its first update in three days.

There have now been almost 147,000 confirmed cases in the state and 2,663 deaths.

The department does not update on weekends.

More than 357,000 people in the state have now been fully vaccinated, or about one-third of the state’s population.

The number of patients in the hospital with the disease was 134 as of Saturday, down from 142 the previous day.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Rhode Island has decreased over the past two weeks from 406 on April 10 to about 311 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins.

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UNEMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENT

Rhode Island is bringing back a key requirement for people collecting unemployment.

Recipients will soon have to prove they’re looking for work and be available to work to collect benefits, the state Department of Labor and Training told WJAR-TV.

Some businesses, including restaurants, say they have had trouble finding staff.. The requirement was suspended at the start of the pandemic.

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