Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said she has no plans to institute a statewide lockdown as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state now stand at 66, up 12 from Friday. The new patients range in age from their 20s to their 70s, and three are hospitalized.
Raimondo said at this time she has no plans for a shelter in place or a lockdown, but she will be implementing new restrictions in the next few days.
The reason she isn't considering a lockdown, she said, "is I know we need to have some semblance of an economy." She said local businesses are putting on a brave face, but many of them are struggling.
Restaurants in the state are only allowed to do takeout or delivery, and Raimondo said as of Saturday they will also be allowed to sell beer or wine via delivery or takeout.
The governor said now is a critical time to help slow the spread of the virus.
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"This moment right now -- this weekend, this week -- could be the most important moment we face in keeping a lid on this virus. You see the experience of places like New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle -- they fall past the tipping point and then there's a skyrocket. We are trying to prevent that... When the genie's out of the bottle, you can't put it back in."
On Friday, Raimondo said she was activating her state's National Guard to help with coronavirus efforts.
Raimondo continues to encourage residents to work from home, avoid crowds, and stay home if they are sick and to stay away from nursing homes.
"This is only going to work if everyone obeys the restrictions out there," she said, including limiting gatherings to no greater than 10 people. "If we see it, we're going to break it up."
All gatherings that are non-essential, even if they are below the 10-person limit, should be cancelled or postponed, Gov. Raimondo said.