WASHINGTON, DC - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Donald Trump has approved a major coronavirus disaster declaration for Rhode Island, freeing up needed federal emergency aid to help the state combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued a state of emergency for the state on March 9.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Peter Gaynor, who formally headed up the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), called Senator Jack Reed tonight to share the news.

“I appreciate Director Gaynor’s continued service and leadership.  This disaster declaration recognizes the severity of the crisis Rhode Island is facing and will help the state access additional federal funding.  It will also allow local governments and non-profit organizations to get federal assistance for community initiatives to provide emergency protective measures,” said Senator Reed

The order is back-dated to January 20, 2020.

President Trump issued a national emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 13 and has since signed off on coronavirus disaster declarations for several states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut.