See more of our coronavirus coverage, including community resources and personal stories.

The number of coronavirus cases in the state rose by 55, Raimondo announced Sunday, reaching a total of 294. Cases have been identified in three nursing homes across the state, which health officials called concerning. 

Raimondo warned, she expects to see the number of cases continue to rise quickly, and she reiterated her order that Rhode Islanders stay home, unless going to work or shopping for essential needs. 

“I’m telling you right now, it’s time to get more serious,” Raimondo said. “These aren’t limits that are suggestions for you to try to push. This virus is coming, it’s coming fast, and we cannot outrun it.”

Raimondo said the order is needed because health officials are worried that residents aren’t following social distancing recommendations. She expressed frustration at seeing photos of crowds lined up in Narragansett to buy seafood. 

In another move to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Raimondo ordered child care facilities to close for at least a week, beginning Monday, March 30. 

“If I were a child care facility out there I would feel whipsawed,” Raimondo said, acknowledging the announcement is an abrupt change from her announcement last week that childcare centers could stay open if they followed stricter regulations. “But as I’ve said all along, when the situation changes, I need to change. I just don’t think it’s safe -- for this week -- for childcare centers to stay open.”

Raimondo the state will evaluate the possibility of reopening facilities a week at a time. And she recommended that people look for child and elder care through, a service the state is using to connect volunteer babysitters with parents and caregivers who need to go to work. In response to a question, Courtney Hawkins, director of the state’s Department of Human Services, said does perform background checks on caregivers.

This weekend, Raimondo also ordered anyone out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. In her briefing on Sunday, Raimondo explained that she expanded a previous executive order that applied only to travelers from New York because of the escalating rate of infection in other states, including Connecticut. That policy previously drew criticism from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Raimondo said the New York-specific order has been superseded by one that applies to all out-of-state visitors.

Out-of-state drivers traveling into Rhode Island are being asked to stop at designated information stations and provide contact and destination information to the state’s National Guard. Similar stations are set up at bus and train stations. And RI State Police are helping to enforce the order, by pulling over drivers who do not stop at the National Guard information stations. 

“We have clear legal authority to direct drivers to these information stations,” commented State Police Superintendent Col. James Manni.  “And I want to be very clear on this point: the procedure we have in place does not violate anyone’s constitutional rights."

The order does not apply to commercial vehicles or people traveling to the state for work. 

All non-essential retail businesses in the state are ordered to close their doors, beginning Monday, March 30. Manufacturing and service businesses may remain open. And restaurants may continue to provide takeout and delivery. Raimondo and Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said businesses are encouraged to keep sales going online, and the state is offering free tech support at 401-521-HELP.