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(Updated March 31, 2020)

The Numbers

Rhode Island (as of March 31)

  • 488 people have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 59 patients are hospitalized
  • 8 people have died as a result of COVID-19

Massachusetts (as of March 31)

  • 6620 people have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 562 patients have been hospitalized
  • 89 people have died as a result of COVID-19

Connecticut (as of March 31)

  • 3128 people have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 608 patients have been hospitalized
  • 69 people have died as a result of COVID-19

U.S. (as of 4:30 pm, March 31, according to Johns Hopkins University)

  • 181,099 people have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 3,606 people have died as a result of COVID-19

World (as of 4:30 pm, March 31)

  • 846,156 people have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 41,494 people have died as a result of COVID-19

The Latest

  • Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Tuesday that four additional Rhode Islanders died from coronavirus, bringing the state's total toll to eight. She said the state is racing against time to prepare for an increase in cases, and repeated a call for more doctors, nurses and other professionals with time on their hands to join the fight. She said projections of more than 250 deaths in RI by August could be close to accurate, but said that what happens depends on efforts to limit the spread of the virus. Raimondo ordered parking lots closed as of Friday at state beaches and parking lots.

  • New drive-through testing sites operated by the Army National Guard began opening on Tuesday at the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. If you think you need to be tested, call your primary care provider to get an appointment. If you don’t have a primary care provider, all an urgent care center or, if you can’t get through, call the COVID-19 Hotline at (401)222-8022. (Nobody will be tested without an appointment.)

  • At least 11 veterans have died at a soldiers' home in Holyoke, Mass., where a COVID-19 outbreak is now threatening even more residents and staff. At least five of the people who died have tested positive for COVID-19, and other tests are still pending. Gov. Charlie Baker called the deaths "a shuddering loss for us all."

  • Governor Gina M. Raimondo on Saturday banned all gatherings in Rhode Island of more than five people and issued a "stay-at-home" order for all residents. (Previously, gatherings were limited to 10 people.) She also ordered anyone traveling to Rhode Island from another state for "a non-work-related purpose" to self-quarantine for 14 days. The governor also asked people to limit their interactions to the same five people. Anyone who is sick, even if it's "the sniffles," must stay at home, she said.

  • As of Monday March 30, all “non-essential” retail businesses are ordered to close until April 13. (See how the state defines non-essential.) Gov. Raimondo said she is taking this step “reluctantly after great consideration'' because state officials are receiving too many reports of people crowded into gift shops, retail shops and shopping malls.


  • All Rhode Island K-12 schools in the state will remain closed until at least May 1, Governor Gina Raimondo announced Monday. And the state has moved to cancel all statewide standardized testing.

  • Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered child care facilities in Rhode Island to close until at least April 4. She said the state will consider whether its safe for day care centers to open on a week-by-week basis.

  • Gov. Charlie Baker is ordering schools and non-emergency child care programs in Massachusetts to remain closed through the end of AprilThe state has set up day care centers for parents required to continue working, including health care and grocery store workers.

Health Coverage

  • Rhode Island Medicaid will be suspending quarterly income verifications and terminations for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, according to the state.

  • Rhode Islanders who don’t have insurance will be able to enroll in coverage with HealthSourceRI, the state’s health insurance exchange, through a special open-enrollment period through April 13. Roughly 3% of residents are uninsured, one of the lowest in the country.

  • Health insurance companies in Rhode Island will be required to cover all medically appropriate telemedicine services at the same rate they would cover an in-person visit, following an executive order Gov. Gina Raimondo issued Tuesday, March 18. This expands on a previous order to include specialist care. 

  • Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner has ordered all health insurers in Rhode Island, including Medicaid, the government program for the poor, to cover testing for COVID-19 with no co-pays. Insurers also must cover treatment for those infected by the coronavirus, retroactively if necessary.

  • Rhode Island dental offices and other oral health professionals should suspend non-essential, non-urgent dental care.


  • Rhode Island's little-known Disaster Emergency Fund Board, approved borrowing $300 million to help the state government weather the coronavirus crisis.

  • Hospitals in Rhode Island are bracing for a potentially severe shortage of beds, ventilators and staff to care for patients infected with the coronavirus. Researchers at Harvard’s Global Health Institute project that the number of infected patients who would need beds in hospital intensive care units throughout the state could range from about 9,000 people to nearly three times that number. Among the sites being considered to accomodate more hospital beds are the Rhode Island Convention Center, the Dunkin’ Donuts center along with hotels and college dormitories.

  • The Rhode Island DMV is granting a 90-day extension to renew licenses that expire in March and April (an increase from a previous 30-day extension).

  • Rhode Island's presidential primary will be delayed from April 28 to June 2, Gov. Raimondo ordered on Monday. Voters will receive in the mail an application for a mail ballot, with a postage-paid return envelope.

  • The governors of both Rhode Island and Massachusetts have activated the National Guard to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. In RI, about 1,000 troops will be available to staff call centers, deliver food, or operate drive-by testing centers. In MA, about 2,000 troops will distribute supplies to boost the state’s testing capacity.

  • Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission is barring state-regulated utilities, including gas, electric, water, and sewer utilities, from shutting any services due to unpaid bills. It’s also requiring utilities to stop sending past-due accounts to collection agencies. 

  • The state court system is operating on an emergency basis only; no evictions or adjudications will be processed until April 17, even for people who have received an eviction notice.

  • Rhode Island’s legislature has canceled all sessions and all committee hearings through April 3. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo also suspended the state's Open Meetings Act. Municipal boards and agencies can delay meetings by a month, or make meetings available via telephone or video conference.

  • Rhode Island’s largest hospital network, Lifespan, announced March 9 it is suspending visitation at its three adult hospitals -- Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital -- to minimize potential spread of the novel coronavirus. Only one parent will be allowed to accompany children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital. Newport Hospital’s maternity wing will allow for one birthing partner. Exceptions may be made in special circumstances, the statement said, such as end-of-life care.

  • Pharmacists in Rhode Island say the state is allowing them to mix and sell their own hand sanitizer over the counter. The move comes amid shortages in commercially made products brought on by response to the coronavirus. According to pharmacy owners, the state Board of Pharmacy is telling them to produce sanitizer with a minimum of 60 % alcohol, in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Officials from the CDC are in Rhode Island helping to try to contain the outbreak of coronavirus. The team from the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service has been “embedded” at the Rhode Island health department.

With reporting by the Associated Press, Alex Nunes, John Bender, Joe Tasca, and Julia Moro.