PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state offered clarifications and increased guidance on Saturday to an upcoming two week ‘pause’ starting on November 30.
On Thursday, Gov. Gina Raimondo banned Rhode Islanders from socializing outside their households (including on Thanksgiving), as she also prepared residents for the upcoming closures and restrictions.
Raimondo said the pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19, which has seen a steady increase in recent weeks. All Phase III restrictions and guidance will carry over through the pause and is available on www.ReopeningRI.com.
Full ‘Pause’ Guidelines >>
The two weeks of restrictions include closing gyms, colleges, offices, bars, recreational venues (including casinos) and cancelling organized sports, while keeping indoor dining and houses of worship open with limited capacity.
High schools are being asked to move to their “limited” in-person plans, with 25% capacity, also starting Nov. 30, while houses of worship will be limited to 25% capacity and restaurants will be limited to 33% capacity indoors. (Only one household will be allowed per table, because of the new social gathering rule.)
Saturday’s guidance answered some questions residents have had following the announcement.
The social gathering limit has been changed to one household. Any adult who lives alone or single parent may gather with one other household with a five person limit.
Starting November 30 — college and university classes will move to remote learning — while high schools can offer limited in-person learning to select students. Students in pre-k through 8th grade should continue in-person learning.
12 News spoke with several residents Saturday night who expressed mixed feelings about the pause.
“It’s going to be difficult obviously but I don’t think it’s a problem,” William Butler said.
“I don’t think it’s necessary and also I’m a little fearful because of all the businesses that have re-opened up. I don’t want them to lose their business,” Stefanie Powell said.