ONE YEAR OF COVID-19
Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in Rhode Island. It’s been a long, difficult year, filled with tragedy, heartbreak, and loss. But in our darkest days, we came together and we lifted one another up. We did what Rhode Islanders always do: we found hope.
Our data is continuing to trend in the right direction — our case positivity rate is around 2%, hospitalizations are plummeting, and we have administered over 250,000 vaccines. Let’s keep going. You can get more information on how to get vaccinated, or how to sign up to get an alert when you become eligible, by clicking this link.
TWO NEW MASS VACCINATION SITES
In the coming weeks, we are planning to open two new State-run vaccination sites: one in Middletown, and one in Woonsocket. The Middletown site will be located where the Benny’s used to be, and the Woonsocket site will be located at the corner of Mendon Road and Diamond Hill Road, where the Sears department store was previously.
People will be able to register for appointments at these two sites the way that they can currently register for the Dunk and Sockanosset: either by going to www.VaccinateRI.org or by calling 844-930-1779.
We also want to reassure Rhode Islanders of all ages that our currently-open vaccination sites are physically accessible for people with mobility issues, and staff are in place at both sites to provide additional assistance. For Rhode Islanders who cannot leave their homes, we ask that they or their caregivers fill out the form at covid.ri.gov/vaccination to help us ensure they can get vaccinated. (Please note that this form is not a vaccination sign-up form.)
THREE CHANGES TO SPORTS RULES
Because of the strength of our current case numbers, we are making three immediate changes to the restrictions on youth sports that we put in place last fall:
1) Outdoor team sports such as football and lacrosse will be able to hold games and competitions this spring. These sports are being played with COVID modifications such as mask-wearing and social distancing on the sidelines to reduce risk.
2) Rhode Island teams can now play out-of-state teams from states with less than 5% positivity rates, where travel is not restricted, for all moderate-risk and lower-risk sports in Rhode Island, as well as for higher place.-risk sports played outdoors.
3) Spectators may watch events if the facility or host can maintain occupancy at no more than 1 person per 125 square feet, or at 40% capacity. For youth sports, spectators should only be family members. For colleges and universities, the schools may only allow students and personnel who are part of the home school campus. Again, other COVID protocols around mask-wearing and distancing remain CONTROL PRTOCOLS