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A new poll tells us a lot about how you feel about the coronavirus

Magazine covers that make reference to the coronavirus sit behind plastic in a magazine dispenser box on a nearly empty street on April 8 in Newport, R.I.Steven Senne/Associated Press

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Happy Friday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and all I want to do is play softball this summer. Is that so much to ask? Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 8,621 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, and 266 residents had died. There were 339 people in the hospital, 85 in intensive care, and 54 were on ventilators.


It didn’t get much attention locally, but a new nationwide online survey released Thursday by researchers at Northeastern, Harvard, and Rutgers Universities gives us our most in-depth look yet at how Rhode Islanders are handling the coronavirus crisis.

The COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States surveyed 22,912 people across the country between April 17 and April 26, including 287 people in Rhode Island. For our state, the margin of error was plus or minus 7 percentage points.

The poll continues the theme from last week’s Bryant University survey that showed most Rhode Island residents support Governor Gina Raimondo’s handling of the virus and that most of us have taken a financial hit as a result of the disease.

You can read the full results here, but here are some interesting local takeaways.

We’re obsessed with this virus

Two-thirds of Rhode Islanders said they talk about the coronavirus with others (in-person, on the phone, or electronically) at least once per day. That’s more than every state except Connecticut, where 67 percent of people talk about it each day.

We’re really worried about family members getting sick


Rhode Island and Hawaii were tied at the top of the country for people who are very concerned that a family member will get the virus, at 56 percent. By comparison, 39 percent of Rhode Islanders said they are very concerned that they’ll get the virus themselves.

Trust in state government is high

The Bryant poll showed this as well, but Rhode Island (83 percent) is one of eight states (Ohio, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire are the others) where at least 80 percent of residents say they believe state government is acting properly. When it comes to President Trump, 55 percent say they don’t trust him to handle the outbreak.

The economic hardship is real

Twenty-one percent of Rhode Island residents said they had been laid off or lost a job because of the virus, and 27 percent said they have either seen a reduction in pay or had to stop or scale back work to take care of a child or a family member with the disease.

R.I. residents heart TV news

We already knew that the local TV stations have seen a boost in ratings from Governor Raimondo’s daily press conferences, but 65 percent of respondents said they had gotten news about the virus within the previous 24 hours from those stations. That’s the highest in the country. At 48 percent, Rhode Island ranked second in the country (behind Delaware) for getting news from cable.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.


⚓ Rhode Island lawmakers have begun their review of how the state will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to respond to the coronavirus. Ed Fitzpatrick reports that $156 million has already been spent or committed.

Amanda Milkovits reports that nearly 200,000 unemployment claims have been filed in Rhode Island since March.

⚓ There’s a coronavirus treatment that is showing promising results. Here’s what has to happen next.

⚓ There’s a good chance that you haven’t taken your sweatpants off in several weeks. Can we all come to a truce and keep that going forever?

⚓ Congratulatons to everyone from the Globe, WPRI, and WJAR who have been nominated for New England Emmys. A full list of the nominees is here.

⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent another round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Natalie Petrucci (always 21), Rebecca Webber (33), Bridget Duffy (15), Andres Taborda (27), Christine Spaziano O’Neill, Raymonde Charles, Warwick Mayor Joe Solomon, Gonzalo Cuervo, Ethan Shorey, Erlin Rogel, Peter Harrington (65), Alexa Grebien (21), Connor Grebien (19), Keith Hoffmann (33), Elanor Crichton (7), Nancy Azano (70), Matilda O’Rourke (13), Alden Blackman (19), Brendan Corley (37), Nathan Giuttari (48), Hannah Wiczek (13), Finnegan McNeil (12), Richard Hathaway (74), Chuck Beilke (70), John Flint, Rahul Kuchibhatla (26), Alix and Emily Etheridge (19), Robert Marra, Mary Marra, Ivan Drew (4), Bill Massey (33), Mark Nietzel (63), Ralph Lufkin (37), Kara Marisa Nichols, Kelly Colgan (30), Maryellen Butke, Ann Diver, Tori Cordeiro (26), Oliver Francis Rodrigue (welcome to the world, kiddo), Samantha Eckel, Birdie Lieber (5), Aidan Murray (16), Juan Mateo Martinez (5), Jonathan Martinez (17), Justin Laflamme (39), and Andrew Ferruche (50).



Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ Governor Raimondo’s daily coronavirus update is at 1 p.m.

⚓ Tonight: It’s first #StayHomeWaterFire in history. You can watch it here.

⚓ After a bizarre decision to cancel its meeting the other night, the Providence City Council will formally receive Mayor Jorge Elorza’s proposed budget tonight.

⚓ Officials in Pawtucket and Central Falls are launching a special coronavirus hotline that is designed to reach 50,000 residents who don’t have a primary care physician. The phone number is 855-843-7620.

⚓ Enjoying Rhode Map? Do us a favor and encourage your friends to sign up here.

Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you on Monday.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him @danmcgowan.