Providence to offer more students remote learning option

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Providence public schools are offering remote learning to any student whose parents request it this fall, school officials said Monday.

Originally, remote learning was only being made available to students with special needs and health issues, but parents of other students requested the option as well.

“We heard from the community,” district spokesperson Laura Hart told The Providence Journal. “We’re doing everything we can to open it up to everyone who wants it.”

Gov. Gina Raimondo and state education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green have said that in-person instruction this fall is their preference. Hart said, however, that the district’s reopening plan is “in line with what the state is saying — that families should have options.”

“We know we can do in-person safely,” Hart said. “That’s our best option. We also know that we have families who are asking for options. We want to meet families where they are.”

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HEALTH DEPARTMENT NUMBERS

There were 184 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and three new coronavirus-related deaths in Rhode Island over the past three days, the state Department of Health reported Monday.

There have now been more than 19,200 known cases of the disease and 1,010 fatalities in the state, the agency said.

The department does not update on weekends.

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 in the state was up to 80 as of Saturday, the latest day for which the information was available. That was three more than the previous day.

Of the patients in the hospital, 14 remained in intensive care.

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HOSPITAL VISIT RULES

Rhode Island’s largest hospital group has changed its policy for visitors who want to see loved ones during hospitals stays.

Lifespan’s changes announced recently are in line with state Department of Health guidelines meant to prevent overcrowding.

Patients at Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital who are not being treated for COVID-19 may now have up to two separate visitors per day during set visitation hours.

Patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital may have two parents or guardians visit them at the same time.

All visitors will be screened for coronavirus symptoms, must wear a surgical mask at all times and maintain social distancing.

Visitors must remain in patient rooms and may not bring outside food or drink into the hospitals.

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TEST SITE MOVING

A COVID-19 rapid testing site in Pawtucket is moving to a new location on the same street, officials said Monday.

The drive-up and walk-up testing site for residents of Pawtucket and Central Falls that has been at a Rhode Island College facility at 934 Dexter Street since May is relocating to 91 Dexter Street where it will be up and running Tuesday.

The phone number for making an appointment remains the same.

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