Guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19

People with general questions about COVID-19 may call the Rhode Island Department of Health's (RIDOH) COVID-19 hotline at (401) 222-8022, Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. After hours, please call 211. Questions may be emailed to RIDOH.COVID19Questions.

For accurate, updated information, please visit these websites:

Mayor Solomon urges residents to heed the latest guidance from the State, which includes the following:

  • In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19 as individuals begin to leave their homes more frequently and establishments begin to reopen, protective measures must be followed and implemented for individuals and establishments to resume operations so that the public's health and welfare is protected. 
  • When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas. The only exceptions from these rules are for anyone whose health would be in jeopardy because of wearing a face covering or any children under 2 years old. Face coverings are also not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people. Businesses should refer to for rules and guidance on face coverings.
  • All Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to call a healthcare provider or urgent care center to get scheduled for a test. Call first before going to a healthcare facility unless someone is experiencing a medical emergency. Individuals experiencing symptoms must also self-isolate and have as little contact with others as possible.
  • All gatherings of more than five people are banned. Individuals should be interacting with the same people every day to minimize the risk of spread. This order does not apply to healthcare workers in a workplace setting, public transportation or office buildings. However, people must practice social distancing at all times.

Mayor Solomon is also reminding residents to take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice social distancing – try to stay at least six feet away from others, particularly at events.
  • If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
  • Use good cough etiquette: cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching “high-touch surfaces” in public places, such as elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently to remove germs, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. The risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 can increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation.

Symptoms of COVID-19/coronavirus may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms of COVID-19 may be present in as little as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. While many people experience little to no symptoms, other people can become severely or even critically ill. Some individuals are at higher risk of becoming very ill from this virus, including older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should NOT go directly to a healthcare facility without calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency).

Having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19. People are at higher risk for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath) AND if they were a contact of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 (or have traveled to a country with community transmission).