PROVIDENCE — When the Rhode Island State House reopens to the public on June 1, some coronavirus restrictions will remain in place, Gov. Dan McKee announced Tuesday.

Visitors will be allowed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but will be required to sign a logbook, have their temperature taken, and wear face masks in all public areas. No proof of vaccination will be required.

Some areas will remain off-limits for health and safety reasons, the Democratic governor said.

“Any choice to allow remote working, bring employees back in person, or any combination of the two will also be left to the discretion of each office,” its statement said.

McKee had been criticized for keeping the State House closed to the public even as most coronavirus restrictions on the economy were lifted. It had previously announced it would reopen on June 1 but without details.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, also a Democrat, asked last week why the building remained closed. She announced Sunday that she would run for governor.

Trends on key metrics

Three key metrics used to measure Rhode Island’s coronavirus prevalence are trending downward, according to state Department of Health figures released Tuesday.

The statewide weekly percentage positive test rate fell to 1% for the week that ended Saturday, from 1.3% the previous week.

New hospital admissions fell to 60 for the week from 69 the previous week.

And new cases per 100,000 people fell to 57, from 84 the previous week.

The department on Tuesday reported less than 50 new confirmed cases of the disease, two more virus-related deaths and a daily positivity rate of less than 1%.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also continues to fall and fell to 67 according to the latest figures, against 72 the day before.

Nearly 537,000 people have now been fully vaccinated in the state, more than half of the population.

Memorial tree

The city of East Providence has planted a living memorial to the nearly 200 city residents who died after contracting the coronavirus.

A tree and accompanying plaque were dedicated Monday in front of City Hall, WPRI-TV reported.

“This tree will remain here for generations to come in remembrance of loved ones who are no longer with us,” said Mayor Bob DaSilva.

The tree will be decorated each year during the holidays in their honor, he said.

The plaque reads: “In memory of the residents of East Providence whose lives have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. May they rest in eternal peace.

According to statistics from the state Health Department, there have been more than 5,800 confirmed cases of the disease in the city and 199 deaths, the sixth highest death rate per 100,000 people in the state.


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