Five key questions about phase two of Rhode Island’s reopening

A patron adjusted her mask after ordering food from a walk-up window at Plant City restaurant in Providence earlier this week.
A patron adjusted her mask after ordering food from a walk-up window at Plant City restaurant in Providence earlier this week.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 I’m strongly supporting Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady this weekend. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

Programming note: I’m on staycation next week, so Ed Fitzpatrick will be your guide beginning Tuesday. He’ll be at the beach on Memorial Day.


ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 13,571 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, after adding 189 new cases. The state announced 18 more deaths, bringing the total to 556. There were 254 people in the hospital, 56 in intensive care, and 41 were on ventilators.

Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to unveil details this afternoon on when phase two of Rhode Island’s reopening plan will begin and what it will look like.

We know that means loosening more of the state’s coronavirus restrictions, but the governor has been tight-lipped all week about what exactly she intends to announce. Here are a few questions she is expected to address.

1. When will phase two begin?

There were a lot of businesses that hoped they would be able to reopen by Memorial Day, but Raimondo has said it looks more like early June. We know the governor is allowing places of worship to reopen next weekend, so it’s unclear if she’ll also allow other businesses to reopen or wait until June 1, which falls on a Monday.

2. What’s next for restaurants?

We know that hundreds of restaurant owners are pushing Raimondo to allow indoor dining by June 1, but while the governor has acknowledged that it’s a fair request, she has sidestepped an actual answer.


3. What about hair salons?

Just about everyone in the state is overdue for a haircut, but more importantly, close-contact businesses have been devastated by all of the coronavirus restrictions. The governor said on Thursday that she never wants to see 17 percent unemployment again, so you can expect her to offer some guidance on when many of these small businesses can reopen.

4. Is Twin River in phase two?

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have come under fire in Connecticut for announcing they plan to reopen June 1, but Raimondo has already said she doesn’t expect Twin River to open its casinos in Rhode Island on the same timeline. On Thursday, Raimondo suggested it could be July before she opens the casinos, although we still don’t know if the state will be in phase two or three by then.

5. What will gathering limits be?

The state initially said phase two would limit social gatherings to up to 15 people, but Raimondo still hasn’t increased the five-person limit at this point.


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.

⚓ My colleagues Kay Lazar and Felice J. Freyer have an excellent story today on how states, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, have put together a dizzying, sometimes discordant patchwork of reopening plans that scientists and public health experts say may come at a great cost.


⚓ Ed reports that Rhode Island’s June 2 presidential primary is going to look much different than we’re used to.

⚓ Rhode Island’s unemployment rate hit 17 percent in April, higher than at any point of the Great Recession.

David Scharfenberg has a really smart Ideas piece today on how the coronavirus crisis is going to change higher education – for better or for worse.

⚓ The Globe’s restaurant critic is not quite ready to eat in restaurants.

⚓ Rhode Map readers have sent another round of Happy Birthday wishes to: Lolly Grello (100), Sloane Wild (1), state Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, Parker Gavigan, Caitlin Molina, Rich Streitfeld, Steve Klamkin, Dolores Dupre (89), Tessa Jones (11), Annalisa M. Peterson (30), Mirelle Lacouture (14), Ellen Cynar, Michael Spagnola (35), Juliet Simon (4), Meghan Connors (42), Megan Warner (19), Waylon Vazquez (15), Nikki Vazquez, Grant Irvine (3), Erin Collins (58), Pauline Dumontier Campbell, Alicia Wilder (32), Trude Sholes, Jonathan Asen (33), Maeve Monaghan (10), Larry Grimaldi (70), Josh Taub (48), Kristin Walcott-Matthews (40), Dr. Margaret Dyer (52), John Crosson (56), Diane Crosson McEnroe (58), and Suzanne Hall..


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.

⚓ Memorial Day is traditionally the way we kick off the summer, but let’s remember that it’s meant to honor military members who lost their lives.


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

⚓Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee is holding another virtual town hall for small businesses at noon.

⚓ East Matunuck and Scarborough state beaches are opening on Monday.

⚓ Do you ️♥ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

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

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