- Associated Press - Monday, March 9, 2020

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s governor declared a state of emergency Monday amid growing concern over the new coronavirus.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said the order allows the state to access additional resources even though the risk of contracting the virus in Rhode Island remains low.

Here’s a rundown of other coronavirus-related developments in Rhode Island:

JOBLESS BENEFITS

Gov. Raimondo said Monday she’s also signed emergency regulations to help those in quarantine access jobless benefits.



She said residents will be able to immediately claim unemployment and temporary disability insurance benefits if they’re in coronavirus quarantine or caring for someone in quarantine.

That means eligible residents won’t have to deal with the normal seven-day waiting period and other requirements for those programs.

The Democrat also called on President Trump to issue a federal disaster declaration to activate additional government benefits for people under quarantine.

HOSPITALS BAN VISITORS

Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital network, announced Monday it is immediately suspending patient visits at all of its hospitals.

No visitors will be allowed in the adult units at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, both in Providence, the organization said.

At Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence and Bradley Hospital, an East Providence psychiatric hospital for youths, one parent will be allowed to accompany patients.

Women giving birth at Newport Hospital will only be allowed one birthing partner, and emergency room patients at all Lifespan hospitals will be limited to one accompanying adult, the organization said.

CASES REMAIN STEADY

State health officials say the state still has just three presumed cases of the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

More than 50 others have tested negative and 290 remain in self-quarantine at home.

The state Department of Public Health said it will also be updating caseloads online.

ABOUT THE VIRUS

For most people, the new 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.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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