Early on Wednesday, March Twenty-Fifth, the Senate and President Trump reached an agreement on a stimulus plan of about 2 trillion dollars. The legislation is expected to be enacted within the coming days; if so, it will become the largest stimulus package in United States history.
The money from this plan would go to providing financial relief for individuals and direct payments to states and businesses. During her press conference, Governor Gina Raimondo said that she was very happy about the deal, which plans on allocating about 1.25 billion dollars for the state of Rhode Island. Raimondo also reports 8 new confirmed cases in Rhode Island, bringing the total number of people infected with COVID-19 to 132.
Currently, the total number in the United States for people infected by the disease is 62,895 according to data from state health departments. There have also been 881 deaths to the disease.On top of this, cases are still on the rise in the United States, with the rate of cases-per-day increasing each day as well.
Despite this, President Trump has stated his interest in restarting business by Easter . According to the president, it would be possible to socially distance and maintain business, so long as people still keep their physical distance from others and maintain a strict adherence to hygiene. That being said, as of right now there is no legislation in place to officially reactivate businesses.
In fact, most states are actually planning on adding more guidelines to their social distancing policies. For example, in the same press conference in which Governor Raimondo celebrated the federal government’s stimulus plan, she also explained that she may have to add restrictions to businesses which are still allowed to operate. Such as action would be in response to many reports of crowds gathering at stores, something the state is explicitly asking not to occur. Additionally, the Governor explained that businesses will remain closed after March 30th.
Many health officials suspect that opening businesses back up so early could actually lead to another spike in the cases of COVID-19, especially in places in which public transportation is very common due the nature of people being forced to stay in close contact with others.
While it cannot be said what will happen in the future in terms of regulations on businesses or individuals tightening or loosening, one thing that is certain is that as more tests are being conducted across the country, there will inevitably be more confirmed cases of COVID-19. As a reminder: the adherence to social distancing policies are the only way to truly reduce the amount of people who become infected with the potentially deadly illness.