Feb. 27: Marc Thibault, the 48-year-old vice principal of student life at Saint Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, is admitted to The Miriam Hospital five days after returning from a school-organized trip to Italy. 

The Miriam Hospital, where the state's first  COVID patient was admitted in late February 2020.

March 1: The Department of Health announces the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Rhode Island. Both are connected to the Saint Raphael trip to Italy. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo appears at an news conference alongside Health Director Dr.  Nicole Alexander-Scott, early on during the pandemic.

March 9: Although only four Rhode Islanders have tested positive in total, Gov. Gina Raimondo declares a state of emergency, authorizing the National Guard to assist in the state’s response. 

March 11: Hours after the World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global pandemic, the University of Rhode Island suspends in-person classes. 

March 12: Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza declares a state of emergency, canceling all city events and revoking entertainment licenses.

A deserted Washington Street in downtown Providence, at 6:30 p.m. March 24, 2020.

March 13: Raimondo moves up the April vacation week, after students at Cranston High School West and Springbrook Elementary School in Westerly test positive for the virus. Visits to nursing homes are halted. Twin River casinos close. Newport cancels St. Patrick’s Day parade

March 16: Public Masses in the Diocese of Providence are canceled until further notice. 

March 17: Raimondo shuts down in-person dining, bans crowds of 25 or more. Elorza closes Providence Place mall. Health officials say “community spread” of virus occurring in Rhode Island, though only 32 cases have been confirmed. 

March 20: National Guard activated to deliver food and assist in testing.  

National Guard members prepare to test for coronavirus outside CCRI in Warwick.

March 22: Raimondo orders all public recreation and entertainment venues to close, as well as close-contact businesses such as gyms, barbershops and tattoo parlors. 

March 23: Public schools in Rhode Island transition to distance learning. 

March 24: Raimondo orders travelers arriving at T.F. Green Airport to quarantine for 14 days. Colleges and universities begin canceling commencement exercises. 

A traveler fills out a form at T.F. Green Airport after returning to Rhode Island from Florida.

March 25: State health officials learn of the first positive case in a nursing home, Oak Hill Center, in Pawtucket.

March 26: Raimondo says that while the spread of COVID-19 in the United States has accelerated, “the speed of our response has also been incredibly fast. … We are ahead of this virus in Rhode Island.” 

March 27: A day after the governor orders residents of New York to quarantine after entering Rhode Island, state police and National Guard troops begin stopping cars with New York plates at the Connecticut border. 

A member of the Rhode Island National Guard approaches a driver of a truck with New York license plates at a rest stop in Westerly in March.

March 28: Rhode Island reports its first two coronavirus deaths. (The state now says the first death occurred on March 19.) Raimondo issues stay-at-home order, closes “nonessential” retail, bans gatherings of five or more. The governor tells those who are flouting her orders to “knock it off.”

March 30: Bernard A. “Bernie” Lanzi, the “mayor of Golden Crest,” dies at the North Providence nursing home. By April 6 nine other residents had died there, more than 50 had tested positive.

April 3: Raimondo closes state beaches and parks, announces that field hospitals will be set up in the Rhode Island Convention Center, at a former Citizens Bank building in Cranston and in a former Lowe’s hardware store in North Kingstown. 

A look inside the field  hospital set up inside the Rhode Island Convention Center in April.  The site was not used to treat  patients then, but it was used during the second viral wave.

April 6: CVS begins offering free, rapid coronavirus testing outside the closed Twin River Casino. The rapid testing is not, however, available at nursing homes. 

April 7: More than 100,000 Rhode Islanders have filed claims for unemployment since the start  of the pandemic. 

April 18: Raimondo orders employees at “customer-facing” businesses to wear masks. “I’ll be the first to admit, it feels strange,” she says. “This is not normal … but it’s the right thing to do.”



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