COVID-19 COVERAGE

Weekend Recap: Protect Your Household, First Vaccines, and Christmas

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PROTECT YOUR HOUSEHOLD
 
After a couple months of our numbers ticking up week after week, we’re ​finally seeing our COVID-19 numbers turn around and start ​heading in the right direction. We know from not just mobility data, but also enforcement data and case investigations, that people took the pause seriously. Our R-value, or rate of spread, has been steadily decreasing since the pause, and is now right around 1, which is great news. I’m ​pleased that the three-week pause moved us in the right direction. 
 
​Our pause ends today as planned, and the new guidance we announced last week will take effect tomorrow, Monday, December 21. This will only work if we all take the dial-up just as seriously as we took the pause, and that means stay​ing with your household. That’s the key – it’s all about protecting your household over the next few weeks. If we all think about what we can do in our own lives to protect those we live with this holiday season, we’ll keep our loved ones safe.
 
FIRST VACCINES
 
This week was a turning point for Rhode Island and for our country in the fight against COVID-19. On Monday, December 14, the state’s first COVID-19 vaccine was administered to our state's healthcare workers. As of Friday, we had administered over 1,200 doses of the vaccine. We still have a long way to go, but this is a historic step toward defeating COVID-19. You can read more about the vaccine, including our distribution plan, at www.health.ri.gov/covid/vaccine.
 
On Thursday, Dr. Philip Chan and Tricia Washburn of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) hosted a Facebook Live to answer questions that Rhode Islanders have sent us about the vaccine. You can watch that video by clicking www.https://fb.watch/2wksebu9h3/here.
 
CHRISTMAS
 
As you think about how you’re celebrating Christmas this year, please celebrate only with the people you live with. We’re asking you to plan for Christmas the same way you did for Thanksgiving. Organize a Zoom with your loved ones. Call your friends and family. Unwrap gifts or have dinner together virtually. But please protect your household, and that means don’t ​gather with people you don’t live with. Don’t travel to see people, don’t host people at your house, and don’t get together with friends or family who aren’t the people you live with.
 
I hope you find this recap helpful. Please, remember your three W's: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Together, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect your household if we just band together now and follow the rules.
 
I'll be back on TV with more updates this Tuesday at 1 p.m.
 
We're all in this together.
 
-Gina Raimondo
Governor

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