Executive Order 20-32

Twenty-ninth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Lifting Stay at Home Order, Leaving Certain Restrictions in Place, Limited Re-Openings with Stringent Health Regulations

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I declared a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19 and such declaration has been extended until at least June 5, 2020;

WHEREAS, over the last 14 days, Rhode Island has stabilized its COVID-19 hospitalizations;

WHEREAS, the State is now able to test all symptomatic people within 48-72 hours and has ensured that all communities in Rhode Island have access to testing, especially those that have been disproportionately impacted by the virus;

WHEREAS, Rhode Island has a robust contact tracing and case investigation infrastructure in place;

WHEREAS, the State currently has adequate hospital capacity and personal protective equipment available and is also able to meet the needs of those in isolation and quarantine;

WHEREAS, it is critical that Rhode Island's economic, cultural and civic life be re-opened to the greatest extent possible consistent with public health and that the public's health shall always be of paramount concern in connection with such re-opening;

WHEREAS, the factors are now in place for Rhode Island to begin a very limited re-opening in some areas of the State's economic, cultural and civic life ("Phase I Re-Opening"); and

WHEREAS, the easing of any COVID-19 restrictions currently in place must be accompanied by clear and concise regulations and those regulations must be effectively implemented and stringently enforced to protect the health and safety of the public.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GINA M. RAIMONDO, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, pursuant to Article IX of the Rhode Island Constitution and the Rhode Island General Laws, including, but not limited to, Title 30, Chapter 15, and Title 23, Chapter 8 do hereby order as follows:

Stay at Home Order Lifted - Vulnerable Populations Strongly Advised to Remain Home

  1. That portion of Executive Order 20-14 issued on March 28, 2020 and renewed by Executive Order 20-23 requiring all Rhode Island residents to stay at home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities is hereby repealed.
  2. All vulnerable populations identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include those who are 65 and older are strongly advised to stay at home unless they must go to work, travel for medical treatment or obtain other necessities such as groceries, gas or medication. The CDC identifies conditions that make people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.htm

Work Remotely to the Extent Possible

  1. Employers must still encourage working remotely to the greatest extent possible. Any person who can work remotely should continue to do so. Employees of office-based businesses who must go to work should only do so only if absolutely necessary and for a limited period of time.
  2. Any Rhode Island employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work-from-home arrangements. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Order shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.

Domestic Travel Restrictions Remain Largely in Place

  1. Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. This quarantine restriction shall not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers. It shall also not apply to anyone traveling for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services, to obtain necessities such as groceries, gas or medication, to dropping off or picking up children from day care or to anyone who must work on their boats.
  2. Any person who lives in Rhode Island and works in another state who can work from home is required to do so. To the extent such a person cannot perform his or her functions via work from home arrangements, that person shall self-quarantine when not at work. This quarantine restriction shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
  3. Instructions for self-quarantine can be found at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) website: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/

Social Gathering Limit Remains at Five

  1. All social gatherings of more than five (5) people in any public or private space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, library, theater, place of worship, parade, fair, festival, park or beach, continue to be prohibited.

Limited Phase I Re-Opening

  1. Non-Critical Retail Businesses
    1. All non-critical retail businesses with a physical location in Rhode Island shall be permitted to re-open for in-store pickup and limited browsing only. Such non-critical retail businesses may allow up to one customer per 300 square feet of store area open to customers generally. A list of critical retail businesses can be found at https://commerceri.com/business-guidelines-during-crisis/
    2. Non-critical retail businesses will be required to operate in accordance with the social distancing protocols, guidance and regulations set forth by RIDOH, Executive Orders 20-24 and 20-30 and any other law applicable to non-critical retail businesses.
    3. Except as provided in section 9(a) above, all other in-person operations of non-critical retail businesses shall continue to be prohibited.

  2. Further Relief for Restaurants
    1. Section 3-7-7 of the Rhode Island General Laws requiring a Class B licensee to sell alcohol for consumption only on the premises shall continue to be suspended. A Class B licensee will now be permitted to sell, with take-out food orders, up to 2 bottles of wine, 144 ounces of beer or mixed beverages in original factory sealed containers, and 144 ounces of draft beer or 72 ounces of mixed beverages containing not more than 9 ounces of distilled spirits in growlers, bottles or other containers sealed in such a way as to prevent re-opening without obvious evidence that the seal was removed or broken, provided such sales shall be made in accordance with Section 1.4.10 of the Department of Business Regulation (DBR) Liquor Control Administration Regulations, 230-RICR-30-10-1 and any guidance or other DBR regulations. Any restaurant, bar or establishment that offers beer, mixed beverages or wine pursuant to this Order must do so in accordance with the social distancing protocols, regulations and guidance set forth by RIDOH.

    2. Restaurants, bars and establishments that offer food and drink shall continue not to permit on-premises consumption of food or drink except in outdoor portions of the licensed premises as determined by the local licensing authority on or after a date set by the Director of DBR. Such establishments may continue to offer food and beverages for take-out and delivery.

  3. Elective Medical Procedures and Medical Services
    1.  Elective medical procedures and other medical services shall be allowed to resume pursuant to plans submitted by healthcare providers and approved by RIDOH.

  4. Graduated Re-Opening of State Parks
    1. The Department of Environmental Management shall start re-opening state parks in a graduated manner, limiting the size of parking areas and restricting the hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds.

Continued Restrictions on Recreation, Entertainment Establishments and Close-Contact Businesses

  1. All recreation and entertainment establishments shall continue to cease in-person operations. Recreation and entertainment establishments subject to this Order include, but are not limited to, theaters, cinemas, sporting events, bowling alleys, concert venues, museums, and zoos.

  2. All close-contact businesses (businesses which cannot maintain social distancing with their customers) including, but not limited to, gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors shall continue to cease in-person operations.

Public Health Regulations for the Limited Re-opening

  1. Effective immediately, RIDOH shall promulgate emergency regulations that will contain universal health and safety requirements for the businesses, governmental entities and other establishments subject to this Order. The regulations shall include enforcement provisions, including the imposition of civil fines, sufficient to ensure compliance.

  2. An enforcement task force ("Task Force") is hereby established. The Task Force shall be composed of inspectors and other personnel that I assign from DBR, RIDOH and other departments of state government, as necessary. Notwithstanding any other provision of Rhode Island law, all inspection and enforcement authority for the emergency regulations promulgated by RIDOH shall be vested in the Task Force.

  3. I authorize the Director of the Department of Administration (DOA) to transfer any State employee in the executive branch to the Task Force without regard to union status, union affiliation, seniority, and/or the employee's formal job classification or prior duties. The Director of DOA is also authorized to implement workplace polices that may be necessary to effectuate this order.

  4. The Task Force shall educate businesses, governmental entities and other establishments on safely maintaining and re-opening operations. Task Force inspectors shall conduct inspections of businesses, governmental establishments and other establishments as well as enforce the emergency regulations promulgated by RIDOH. The Task Force, through RIDOH, shall issue compliance orders under Chapter 1 of Title 23.

Paragraph 15 of this Order shall take effect immediately. The remaining provisions of this Order shall take effect Saturday, May 9, 2020 and shall remain in full force and effect until May 23, 2020 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by subsequent Executive Order.

So Ordered,

Gina M.Raimondo