Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Rhode Island, US, extend orders requiring nonessential businesses to close, travelers to self-quarantine, until at least May 8.

This alert affects Providence, Rhode Island

This alert began 09 Apr 2020 21:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Rhode Island (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, significant business disruptions

Summary
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo extended orders requiring nonessential businesses to close, and travelers entering the state to self-quarantine, until at least May 8. The orders stipulate that public recreation and entertainment businesses, such as cinemas, theaters, and museums, as well as close-contact businesses such as hair salons, must remain closed, and gatherings of five or more people continue to be banned. Restaurants can only provide delivery and pick-up services. State parks and beaches will remain closed indefinitely. Authorities also extended until May 8 orders requiring all travelers entering Rhode Island by any mode of transportation to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. Essential workers are exempted. A stay at home order remains in place until April 13, but it is likely to be extended in the coming days. That order allows residents to leave their homes only to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities while maintaining a proper distance from others, or go to work at an essential business or service.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Rhode Island authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Rhode Island Department of Health - COVID-19 Updates: health.ri.gov/covid/

Governor of Rhode Island - Stay at Home Order: http://www.governor.ri.gov/

Governor of Rhode Island - Emergency Declaration Extension: http://www.governor.ri.gov/