Rapid virus testing site opens; new jobless program launched

Members of the Rhode Island National Guard staff a checkpoint at the CVS – run coronavirus testing center at the shuttered Twin River Casino in Lincoln on April 6, 2020. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press
RAPID TESTING SITE

CVS Health began offering a free, rapid COVID-19 test at a new drive-thru testing site that opened Monday at Twin River Casino in Lincoln.

Results from tests being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes and the site is expected to perform about 1,000 tests per day, doubling the state’s testing capacity, Gov. Gina Raimondo said.

The Woonsocket-based company says Rhode Island and Georgia are the only two states where it’s offering the rapid tests so far.

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VIRUS CASES

Two more Rhode Islanders have died from COVID-19 and 160 more people have tested positive, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday.

A total of 27 people have died and more than 1,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Rhode Island as of Monday.

Ten of the deaths are linked to Golden Crest Nursing Centre in North Providence.

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JOBLESS BENEFITS

Rhode Island will begin accepting applications Tuesday for a new unemployment program created by the federal government’s $2 trillion pandemic stimulus, the state Department of Labor and Training said Monday.

The program offers benefits to self-employed and gig economy workers, independent contractors and others not covered by traditional unemployment insurance.

All unemployed workers will also get $600 a week in their unemployment checks through July as part of the stimulus plan, known as the CARES Acts.

As of Monday, more than 100,000 Rhode Islanders have filed for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, according to state data.

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COURTHOUSES SHUTTERED

Two more courthouses in Rhode Island have been ordered closed.

State Supreme Court Justice Paul Suttell signed an executive order Sunday closing the Kent County Courthouse in Warwick and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal in Cranston.

The buildings will be disinfected while closed. An employee at the Warwick courthouse had tested positive for COVID-19.

State court complexes in South Kingstown and Newport have already been shuttered.

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HOMELESS SHELTER CASE

An employee at the state homeless shelter has been hospitalized after testing positive for the virus, officials said Monday.

Crossroads RI, which operates the shelter, said the person works weekend nights at Harrington Hall as well as full-time at another facility.

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GASPEE DAYS CANCELLED

A Rhode Island celebration marking a pivotal event leading up to the Revolutionary War has been cancelled.

Warwick’s Gaspee Days celebrations have been cancelled because of the pandemic, organizers announced Sunday. The events include a parade, road race and arts and craft fair.

The celebration takes place each June and marks the burning of the British customs ship the H.M.S. Gaspee by Rhode Island colonists in 1772, an act of rebellion that followed the infamous Boston Massacre of 1770.