Rhode Island Governor Tells Citizens To ‘Stay Home’ Before Heading To Wine Bar

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Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo was seen drinking at a wine bar just four days after reminding citizens to comply with coronavirus restrictions and stay home except for essential activities.

Photos published by Turtleboy Sports and the libertarian group Liberty Rhode Island reportedly show Raimondo sitting in a local restaurant for a “wine and paint” night without a mask. The photo was taken by Erica Oliveras, who said she was also at the event at Barnaby’s Public House in Providence, Rhode Island, according to ABC 6 News.

Oliveras defended the governor and said that she didn’t realize the photo would spark backlash. She also said that the governor “only took her mask off whenever she was drinking her wine.” (RELATED: Rhode Island Governor Orders Police, National Guard To Track Down New Yorkers)

“The main thing I took out of it is, ‘Wow she’s here at a small business and she’s supporting,'” Oliveras told ABC 6. “She came in, she supported, she bought wine, she engaged.”

One day after Raimondo visited the wine bar, Rhode Island Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott tested positive for coronavirus. Raimondo said in a Sunday Twitter announcement that she had tested negative for the virus, but was self-quarantining. The governor had shared the stage with Alexander-Scott Thursday night at a briefing, NBC 10 News reported.

Raimondo attended the wine and paint event just four days after tweeting a reminder that citizens should stay at home.

“It’s week two of our pause. I know it’s been hard, but I want to thank every Rhode Islander who’s following our guidance,” Raimondo wrote in the Dec. 7 tweet. “Please, stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with. Together, we can turn our case numbers around.”

The governor’s office denied any wrongdoing to ABC 6, but did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for further comment.

“The governor had dinner at a local restaurant with her husband, and had her mask on anytime she was not eating/drinking,” Josh Block, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, told ABC 6.

Raimondo issued an executive order Dec. 11 extending the state’s coronavirus restrictions through at least Dec. 31 due to the rising number of cases and hospitalizations in Rhode Island. The restrictions limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to only members of the same household, limit churches and houses of worship to 25% capacity, and require all employees to work from home when possible.

Under the executive order, restaurants and bars can only seat one household per table inside and two households per table outside, and must stop in-person dining by 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday. They are also subject to a capacity limit.

Additionally, “indoor recreational or entertainment businesses and historical/cultural establishments,” including those within restaurants or bars, must close. Masks are required.