An important week for Governor McKee
Fully vaccinated: 782,613 (out of approximately 1.1 million inhabitants)
New cases: 1,066 (Friday)
Positive test rate: 5.3%
Currently hospitalized: 206
Total number of deaths: 2,957
More statistics from the RI Ministry of Health. Globe Rhode Island COVID-19 News and Resources. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Next newsletter
This week is shaping up to be a pivotal week in the governor Dan McKee’s tenure as head of Rhode Island because he is expected to announce “executive actions” to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases statewide.
The state has already reported four days with at least 1,000 new cases in December, and on Saturday the McKee administration announced the first known case caused by the Omicron variant.
McKee has faced calls for a new indoor mask tenure from medical professionals and his Democratic rivals in the gubernatorial race, but he said last week he hadn’t not yet made a decision on masking.
In an email Friday at 5:45 p.m., McKee’s spokesperson Matt Gerbe said the governor would meet with officials over the weekend to finalize his plan to fight the virus.
“Early next week, Governor McKee will announce measures to deal with an increase in COVID-19 cases, ease the pressure on our hospital systems, while keeping our schools open for in-person learning and preventing economic disruption to our small businesses, ”Sheaf said.
McKee will also have to deal with the growing perception that he and members of his health department, including the director of health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott – disagree on the government’s handling of the virus.
Members of the health department referred all questions about a mask warrant to McKee’s office and remained largely out of public view last week. Alexander-Scott and COVID-19 Chief Response Officer Tom McCarthy were not available for an interview on WPRI-TV’s Newsmakers last week, according to Ted Nesi.
McKee also acknowledged that he is listening to members of the business community – especially those who run restaurants and gyms – who are concerned that any new tenure will crush them financially.
The Globe in Rhode Island
?? Ed fitzpatrick see how Governor McKee might get away with it when he runs for a full term next year by examining McKee’s past statewide victories. Read more.
⚓ A former Pawtucket firefighter is suing the town, alleging that the fire department has no standard operating procedures for operating its aerial ladders, no training, and that years of neglect in maintaining and repairing the fleet of fire trucks resulted in the loss of his leg. Read more.
⚓ Experts at the Attorney General’s Office are concerned about what the sale of the Narragansett Electric Company could mean for Rhode Island electricity and gas customers and whether the new owners are ready to help the state reach new greenhouse gas reduction targets. Read more.
⚓ Scenes from “Hocus Pocus 2” were filmed on Federal Hill this weekend. Read more.
A 33-year-old man was fatally shot Saturday night on Huxley Avenue in the Elmhurst neighborhood, Providence police said. Read more.
⚓ This week’s Ocean State Innovators Q&A is with Julianne Surrette and Kayce Jernagan, two Johnson & Wales students who started Sunflower Kids, a health-focused single-serve meal project for school-aged children. E-mail Alexa gagosz with suggestions for this weekly interview. Read more. Here is more coverage from Globe Rhode Island.
Also in the Globe
How the coast of Maine has become a front line in the battle against climate change. Read more.
⚓ A Boston lawyer accused of rape by a dozen women has avoided conviction since 1996. Now prosecutors are trying a different route. Read more.
⚓ The Patriots were on vacation this weekend and still won. Read more.
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⚓ The State Council of Economic Advisers meets at 2 p.m. to discuss Governor McKee’s Plan 2030.
⚓ The Providence Downcity Design Review Committee meets at 4:45 p.m. to discuss a nine-story mixed-use project at 151 Chestnut Street.
⚓The State Redistribution Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. in South Kingstown.
My previous column
The gubernatorial campaign for the former CVS executive Helene Foulkes is off to a rough start. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island reviews page.
Rhode Island Report Podcast
Ed fitzpatrick talked to our colleague Amanda Milkovits about the ongoing scandal involving a former North Kingstown basketball coach. Listen to all of our podcasts here.
Boston Globe app
You can receive alerts on Rhode Island news on the Globe app (iOS and Android). Just tap on the gear icon, then hit “Change alert settings” and choose Rhode Island.
Thanks for reading. Send your comments and suggestions to [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.
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