WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ With Thanksgiving next week, Gov. Gina Raimondo is urging all Rhode Islanders to stay local and celebrate the holiday with their immediate households.
During her weekly coronavirus briefing Thursday, Raimondo banned Rhode Islanders from attending social gatherings with people outside their household, including for the upcoming holiday.
“I know someone’s going to say, ‘Can I drive to Massachusetts to see my grandmother? Can I just go to New Hampshire to see my uncle?’ No, you shouldn’t do it,” Raimondo said. “I’m asking you to stay at home and hang out with the people that you live with.”
Raimondo acknowledged that she can’t police people’s living rooms and told Rhode Islanders if they do decide to travel, they should take all of the necessary precautions, including getting tested before leaving. She also said travelers must quarantine and get tested again upon returning home.
Rapid testing will be available at T.F. Green International Airport the Saturday following Thanksgiving through Monday. The Rhode Island National Guard will also be used to alert travelers of the state’s COVID-19 mandates.
Attleboro resident Lyndi Baker tells 12 News she was looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in Rhode Island with her parents. While she understands Raimondo’s call-to-action, she said every holiday is one she looks forward to, especially since she lost her daughter to cancer a year ago.
“You don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring,” she said. “She wasn’t supposed to die, but she did.”
Baker said since learning of Raimondo’s new restrictions, she has downsized her Thanksgiving dinner from 10 people to two.
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise, she’s asking anyone who plans to break the rules to think again.
“You would feel awful if you got your grandmother or grandfather really ill,” she said.