PROVIDENCE (AP) — The Rhode Island National Guard has been fully activated to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Friday.

The order means about 1,000 troops will be available to staff call centers, deliver food or operate drive-by testing centers.

Raimondo partially activated the guard to help public health officials when she declared a state of emergency over the virus earlier this month.

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TAX DEADLINE

The state’s April income tax filing deadline will be pushed back to July 15 to align with the IRS’ newly extended federal tax deadline, Raimondo confirmed Friday.

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NO LOCKDOWN

Gov. Raimondo said she does not intend to order a statewide lockdown or shelter-in-place order, as other states have done.

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CORONAVIRUS CASES

Rhode Island now has more than 50 cases of the virus, up 10 from Thursday, health officials said Friday. The state is testing about 200 people for the new coronavirus a day.

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CORONAVIRUS SCAM

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is warning residents about a new scam promising a “$1,000 assistance check” for a non-existent “COVID-19 PANDEMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE.”

Neronha says the text and email scam is trying to get personal information, including bank accounts and Social Security numbers.

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS CANCELLED

Special Olympics Rhode Island has cancelled its annual State Summer Games that had been scheduled for May.

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STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority announced Friday that non-federal student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply at the agency's website to skip two months of payments.

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ABOUT THE VIRUS

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

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