PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Gina Raimondo acknowledged Sunday that it would be difficult for Christians not to gather in churches and with extended family on Easter, while urging Rhode Islanders to stay home and form new traditions.
Raimondo did not hold her usual daily news conference, instead pre-recording an Easter video greeting with her husband Andy Moffit.
“I know this Easter isn’t the holiday that we had hoped that it would be,” Raimondo said. “It will be difficult to not be with our faith communities, to not be able to go to church, to not be in close contact with our family members and loved ones.”
She said her family normally goes to her sister’s home for a big gathering, but she will now spend the day at home with Moffit and their two children.
“I also hope that we never again have to experience Easter under these sorts of difficult conditions,” Raimondo said.
The R.I. Department of Health separately announced 316 new positive COVID-19 cases and seven new deaths Sunday, for a total of 63 deaths of Rhode Islanders so far.
Six of the new deaths were connected to nursing homes, according to a spokesperson.
Raimondo urged people in her Saturday briefing not to try and get around the ban on nursing home visitors on Easter, including by trying to speak to loved ones through the window from outside. Dr. Alexander-Scott also asked people not to send packages or flowers to nursing homes, but instead take a photo of the flowers or show them to a loved one over video chat.
Raimondo on Sunday also thanked the many people who are still going to work for essential reasons, including nurses, doctors, CNAs, social workers, teachers, manufacturers, grocery clerks, truck drivers, bus drivers and members of the R.I. National Guard.
“I know it’s a scary time to go to work and I’m so grateful for your bravery and your commitment to the people of Rhode Island,” Raimondo said.
Moffit encouraged people to take care of their mental and emotional health during this time, and said he was encouraged by stories of Rhode Islanders helping each other.
Raimondo asked everyone to do one kind thing for another person each day, including checking in on them, helping with groceries or making them a homemade mask.
“Simple acts of kindness — including just staying home — are more important than ever,” she said. “We going to get through this … and we’re going to be stronger and more resilient on the other side.”