(WHDH) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday announced that the Ocean State will enter a two-week pause following Thanksgiving to slow an alarming uptick in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Beginning on Monday, Nov. 30, high schools will shift to virtual learning, indoor dining capacity will be capped at 33 percent, capacity at places of worship will be limited to 25 percent, colleges and universities will not hold in-person classes, offices will be asked to shut down if possible, bars will close their doors, access to fitness centers will be paused, and youth sports will not be allowed, Raimondo announced during a news conference.
Retail spaces will be restricted to 1 person per 100 square feet, while social gatherings will be limited to household members only, Raimondo added.
“If Rhode Island cooperates and complies for two weeks….We have a real shot to temper the rise which would allow us to limit the pause to just two weeks,” Raimondo said. “If we don’t, then I will have to go back to a total lockdown.”
The state’s weekly positive test rate is nearing 6 percent, while new daily cases are regularly topping 1,000, Raimondo said.
Raimondo called the negative trends “frankly alarming,” citing gatherings, parties, sports, sleepovers, and failure to follow the rules for the spiraling surge.
“Although we all seem to think we’re following the rules, clearly we’re not because we’re in a really bad place,” Raimondo said. “I have had to hold off as long a possible with tougher restrictions.”
Raimondo noted that Rhode Island hospitals will soon be overrun if drastic change is not implemented.
The governor also urged residents to stay home for Thanksgiving and avoid traveling.
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