Raimondo: Primary postponed; plane travelers must self-quarantine

Gov. Gina Raimondo is seen briefing Rhode Islanders on the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic on a video screen set up at the State House March 23, 2020. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

 

Rhode Island is the latest state to move its presidential primary in response to the new coronavirus.

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Monday the state will push the April 28 election to June 2. Rhode Island joins Connecticut, Maryland, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio in postponing their April 28 primary.

The state Board of Elections has said postponing the primary would give officials more time to prepare for a primarily mail ballot-based election.

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AIR TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

All airplane travelers arriving into Rhode Island will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days effective Tuesday morning.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday that the executive order covers domestic and international travelers, but health care and public safety workers will be exempt.

National Guard officials will be stationed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick to collect contact information from arriving passengers.

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OPEN BORDER

Rhode Island will keep its borders open to interstate travelers for now, Raimondo said Monday.

The governor had said she was considering shuttering the border, but backed away after neighboring Massachusetts issued a stay-at-home advisory to residents and ordered all nonessential businesses to close starting Tuesday.

Raimondo said she hopes Massachusetts’ restrictions result in less people commuting between the two states.

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NEW CASES

Rhode Island has more than 100 cases of the new coronavirus, up more than 20 since Sunday, health officials said Monday.

Four people are currently hospitalized with the virus and the state hopes to process up to 800 tests of the virus a day by next Monday, they said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

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CVS HIRING

Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain CVS Health is looking to hire as many as 50,000 people nationwide as store workers, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service professionals.

The company announced Monday it will also be awarding bonuses ranging from $150 to $500 to pharmacists, store associates and other employees required to be at CVS facilities to assist customers.

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VIRUS MASKS

A Rhode Island factory is ramping up production of specialized face masks critically needed by healthcare, safety, and emergency response workers.

North Carolina-based Honeywell announced Sunday it plans to hire 500 people at its Smithfield plant to produce millions of N95 disposable respirators for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Smithfield factory produces eye protection products, including safety glasses, goggles and face shields.

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