R.I. Governor: New restrictions coming, but no lockdown planned

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she’s planning new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 but does not expect to institute the type of statewide lockdown seen in New York and California.

Speaking in a televised broadcast on Saturday, Raimondo said her goal is to contain the virus while still supporting “some semblance of an economy.”

“It’s very likely that I will be instituting some additional restrictions in the next few days, but I have no plans to issue a shelter in place or total state lockdown,” Raimondo said. “The social distancing directives which I have already ordered are radical and are taking an enormous toll on this economy.”

The Democratic governor previously barred gatherings of more than 10 people and ordered residents to work from home if possible. On Friday, she activated 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to help with testing and logistics. Raimondo said this upcoming week could be the most important time in working to prevent spread of the virus.

“This is only going to work if everybody obeys the directives that are already out there,” Raimondo said, adding that authorities “will not be shy” about enforcing her orders.

State health officials on Saturday announced that Rhode Island has 12 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 66. Officials said the patients range in age from their 20s to their 70s. Of the 12, three have been hospitalized.

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ABOUT THE VIRUS

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

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