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Portsmouth Alerts

Holiday Closures

6 hours 45 minutes ago
Town Hall, Public Works and the Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, 1/18 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We will reopen regular hours on Tuesday.

Holiday Closures

2 weeks 4 days ago
The Town has various holiday closures. Please read on for further details and plan accordingly. The Town wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Town Clerk Limited Service

2 weeks 4 days ago
On Wednesday, December 30 and Thursday, December 31 there will be limited staffing in the Town Clerk's Office. Please call 401-683-2101 for any questions.

Holiday Closures Updated on 2020-12-21

2 weeks 4 days ago
The Town has various holiday closures. Please read on for further details and plan accordingly. The Town wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! Update: On December 24th, the Transfer Station will close at 4:00 p.m. for the day.

Holiday Closures Updated on 2020-12-21

3 weeks 3 days ago
The Town has various holiday closures. Please read on for further details and plan accordingly. The Town wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! Update: On December 24th, the Transfer Station will close at 4:00 p.m. for the day.

Holiday Closures Updated on 2020-12-21

3 weeks 3 days ago
The Town has various holiday closures. Please read on for further details and plan accordingly. The Town wishes you a safe and happy holiday season! Update: On December 24th, the Transfer Station will close at 4:00 p.m. for the day.

Holiday Closures

3 weeks 4 days ago
The Town has various holiday closures. Please read on for further details and plan accordingly. The Town wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Storm Closures

4 weeks 2 days ago
Town Hall & the Transfer Station will be closed Thursday, 12/17/2020 due to the winter storm. Stay safe!

Parking Ban

4 weeks 2 days ago
There is a parking ban in effect from 7PM tonight 12/16/2020 until 9PM on 12/17/2020.

Holiday Closures

1 month 3 weeks ago
Town Hall Offices, Public Works, & the Transfer Station will be closed on Thursday, 11/26 in celebration of Thanksgiving. Town Hall & Public Works remain closed on Friday, 11/27, but the Transfer Station will be back to regular hours. Stay safe!

Holiday Closures

2 months ago
Town Hall Offices, Public Works, and the Transfer Station will be closed on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 in observance of Veterans Day.

Holiday Closures

3 months ago
Town Hall Offices, Public Works, and the Transfer Station will be closed on Monday, October 12, 2020 in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.
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14 minutes 54 seconds ago
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Portsmouth Blog

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE January 14, 2021 1745

1 day 2 hours ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 01/14/2021 Next update will be issued Thursday, January 21st. PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: • World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 92,770,898 o Recovered: 51,186,450 o Deaths: 1,986,398 • USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 23,215,680 o Recovered: Not Available o Deaths: 386,996 • Rhode Island (RI Department of Health, as of Jan 14th) o Total Cases: 103,386 o Hospitalized: 375 o Deaths: 1,996 • Aquidneck Island (as ofJan 13th) (RI Department of Health) o Cumulative Cases: 2,433 Includes Prudence Island: 5 o Deaths Not Available • Staff o Active Cases: 4 o Quarantined: 2 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s INFORMATION: • RI VACCINE PLAN. Due to vaccine availability, the RI DOH is reviewing the state vaccination plan. More information will be published once it becomes available. • MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY HOURS FOR COVID TESTING. All State-operated COVID-19 test sites will be closed on Monday, January 18th. Regular hours of testing will resume on Tuesday, January 19. o COVID Info Line (401-222-8022) and K-12 COVID-19 Test Scheduling Services (844-857-1814) available 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; After hours: Use 211 or for test scheduling/results use portal.ri.gov. • COVID-19 TREATMENT. Rhode Island now has a doctor-recommended treatment for COVID-19 that's fast, easy, and highly effective. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment. The earlier you start treatment, the more effective it is. • RIDOH QUARANTINE/ISOLATION LETTERS. Rhode Islanders who require a letter to verify their quarantine/isolation, or their test negative or positive results, may request a letter which may be sent by encrypted (secure) email within 72 hours upon verification by submitting this online form. • SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Limit social contact to only the people you live with—your household. Don’t go shopping, have meals, get coffee, or take part in other social activities with people you don’t live with. Having contact with even one person outside of your household could expose you and everyone you live with to COVID-19. • SECOND ROUND OF PPP LOANS. The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EST.The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.SBA/Treasury also released accompanying guidance documents; the full statement and these documents may be accessed here. • AVOID COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS. As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams: o You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine. o You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access. o Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources. o Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment. Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to: o HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or online at tips.hhs.gov o FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at ic3.gov o CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE • CURRENT STATE GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID: Category Guidance In Person Schools PreK-8 open, HS limited higher ed remote Child Care Open Manufacturing / Construction Open Personal Services Open Retail 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.) Houses of Worship 25% capacity max of 125 people Bar Areas Closed Indoor Dining 50% capacity, early closures one household / table Venues of Assembly 25% capacity Max of 125 people Gyms and Sports Facilities 1 person / 150 sq. ft. Indoor Recreation 1 person / 150 sq. ft. These restrictions still present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling. Please shop local – they really need our support. • EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO GET TESTED. Every Rhode Islander is encouraged to get tested through the PORTAL. Individuals do not need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms. o TEST RESULTS. If you have received a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site. o COVID-19 SCREENING. COVID-19 screening is now available by appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov. ? Results for this type of test at this location will only be communicated verbally. Testing at this location should only be used as a screening tool for people without symptoms. Rhode Islanders requiring proof of a negative test result for travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location. PLEASE NOTE: • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through January 20, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. ? In person service is by appointment only. o The original declaration can be found here. o The extension order can be found here. • RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS. Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. o 14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons. o 10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days. Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious. o 7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days. Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious. • PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. • FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. • CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. o CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. o The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. o It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. o The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. • THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. o Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. o Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. o Contact the Emergency Food Bank:Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. o To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. o To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. o To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. • OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. o Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. o If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. o As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. o People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. • USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS.When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. For COVID vaccinations, those who volunteer to staff the vaccination site will be afforded the option to register for a COVID vaccination if doses are available. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). • DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. o The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey o This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. o If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES • EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can befound here. • TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours. Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. o You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. o Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: o Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. o Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. o Stay home if you feel sick. o Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. o Wear face masks as appropriate. • RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. • DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is openunder the following guidelines: o The park is limited to 10 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. o One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. o All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. o There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. ? Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. • PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. PERSONAL PROTECTION • THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer,business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. o A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. o Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. o RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). o This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. o It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. o CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. o Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: ? No-sew mask • No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie • Make-a-mask no-sew mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ ? Sew a mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ • Pattern for a mask • Instructions for a mask • Video tutorial • MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING • TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. • PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. • SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. • RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. • COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. o TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: ? MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transportand have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here ? This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION • BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. • EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Go to the re-opening RI web site and complete the appropriate event template for your event. For private events, have a copy of the completed template ready for State official review during the event. For public events, submit the completed form for review to “Business Development Director, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth RI 02871” (email rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com ) at least 10 business days before your event. If you require deviations from the event template,use this form. • COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to: o Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. o Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. o Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. o Review outbreak response plans. o Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. o Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. • ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. o The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. o These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. o EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. o Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. o Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. • BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.The Town of Portsmouthbegan accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. o More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. • RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. More information on compliance and penalties is at the State Department of Business Regulation Web Site. A convenient checklist for compliance can be found here. • MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: o Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. o Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. o The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. o High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. ? Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. ? Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. o Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: ? Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. o Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. o Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. ? Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. ? Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. ? All transactions should be done electronically. • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY.SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. • HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. • EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. • SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE • CONGRESSIONAL STIMULUS.Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief. The final package includes aid for struggling households, in the form of an additional round of $600 stimulus payments, a $300 unemployment insurance supplement through March 14, 2021, and extensions to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed or gig workers and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which covers unemployment for workers who exhaust state benefits. The relief package includes: o Another round of direct stimulus payments of up to $600 per person for most Americans, with another $600 for each dependent child living in the same household; o $25 billion for rental assistance; o 11 additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, including for the self-employed and independent contractors, and an additional $300 unemployment benefit for all; o An additional 11 weeks of federal financing for work-sharing programs to help businesses keep workers on the job; o $69 billion to support vaccines, testing, and contact tracing, including roughly $32 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, more than $22 billion for testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation, $4.5 billion in mental health and substance use disorder funding, and $9 billion to support health care providers; o $325 billion in small business aid ($284 billion of which is another round of modified PPP loans, along with $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program funding and $15 billion to support closed performance and entertainment venues); o $45 billion for transportation, including $14 billion in additional transit support, $10B in additional surface transportation block grant funding that can be used directly by communities above 200,000 and across the state, as well as $2 billion additional for primary and general aviation airports; o $54.3 billion for public K-12 schools, $10 billion for childcare (funding the Child Care & Development Block Grant and Head Start); o $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; o $7 billion for broadband ($3.2 billion of which is dedicated to a low-income broadband emergency subsidy for households, and another $300 million for rural broadband); o $4.25 billion to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support, including $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant; o And $2 billion to support the motor coach and bus industry, including intercity bus services, charter bus operators, and school bus service providers. • EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENSION. The stimulus bill extends the CDC’s eviction moratorium from December 30, 2020, to January 30, 2021. If you are risk of eviction due to non-payment of rent, assistance may be available from agencies such as Crossroads, United Way, and the various community action agencies. For help, you can call 211. Apply on-line to Safe Harbor. o Free legal help for low-income tenants is available from: ? Rhode Island Legal Services: 401-274-2652 ? The Rhode Island Center for Justice: 401-491-1101 • CALLING ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS. The state will again start issuing certain temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care New England. • CALLING ON VOLUNTEERS. The State is calling on volunteers to help in various needed capacities in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases. People looking to volunteer can look for opportunities at www.riresponds.org. • WER1 RI RELIEF FUND. There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund. This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. o The program can provide $400through a pre-paid debit card. Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance. o All monies in the fund are derived from donations. There are no State dollars in the program. o Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here. • HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance. Eligible homeowners must: o Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island o Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic o Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after o Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 o Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance o Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 o Meet household income limits ? =$97,646 for 1-2-person households ? =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households • MENTAL HEALTH. COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming. Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders. The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. o NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. • STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS. Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click here for more information. • NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. o The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. o Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. • BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. o DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. o TextBESAFE to 44321 orClick here to donate. • EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. • VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL).Rhode Islandersare able to access a Back to Work landing pageand a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months. • BACK TO WORK RI.Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. o Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. o More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. • UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. • CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. • HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: o Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. o A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. o Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. o First and last month’s rent. o Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. o Assistance in bringing units to code. o Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. o For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. o Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible. In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: ? The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and ? The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. o Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/. They may also be reached by dialing 211. • SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. o For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. o SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. o To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. o To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. ? Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. • WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. • VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extendstheir sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. • COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. • DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. • NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) • STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. • SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. o Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php o If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. • STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. • SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. o The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. o There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. o Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. • ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. • RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. • PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd.Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. • HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODavailable to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. o Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.comand enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? • Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible.Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. • The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: o Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. o Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. o Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). o Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. o Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0350. Leave a message and your call will be returned. o Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. o Town Webpages: ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat(and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) ? Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE January 8, 2021 1600

1 week ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 01/08/2021 Next update will be issued Thursday, January 14th. PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: • World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 88,505,824 o Recovered: 49,275,713 o Deaths: 1,906,468 • USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 21,717,216 o Recovered: Not Available o Deaths: 367,143 • Rhode Island (RI Department of Health, as of Jan 8th) o Total Cases: 97,614 o Hospitalized: 390 o Deaths: 1,916 • Aquidneck Island (as of Jan 8th) (RI Department of Health) o Cumulative Cases: 2,063 o Deaths Not Available • Staff o Active Cases: 3 o Quarantined: 2 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s INFORMATION: • SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Limit social contact to only the people you live with—your household. Don’t go shopping, have meals, get coffee, or take part in other social activities with people you don’t live with. Having contact with even one person outside of your household could expose you and everyone you live with to COVID-19. • SECOND ROUND OF PPP LOANS TO START WEEK OF JAN 11. The Paycheck Protection Program will officially reopen the week of January 11, 2021 according to a press statement released today by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and US Department of Treasury. First draw loans are open beginning January 11 and second draw loans will open on January 13. Important note from the joint SBA/Treasury statement, “To promote access to capital, community financial institutions will be the only eligible lenders at the start of the PPP reopening and all participating lenders will be able to participate shortly thereafter.” SBA/Treasury also released accompanying guidance documents; the full statement and these documents may be accessed here. • AVOID COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS. As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams: o You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine. o You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access. o Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources. o Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment. Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources. If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to: o HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or online at tips.hhs.gov o FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at ic3.gov o CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE • CURRENT STATE GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID: Category Guidance In Person Schools PreK-8 open, HS limited higher ed remote Child Care Open Manufacturing / Construction Open Personal Services Open Retail 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.) Houses of Worship 25% capacity max of 125 people Bar Areas Closed Indoor Dining 50% capacity, early closures one household / table Venues of Assembly 25% capacity Max of 125 people Gyms and Sports Facilities 1 person / 150 sq. ft. Indoor Recreation 1 person / 150 sq. ft. These restrictions still present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling. Please shop local – they really need our support. • EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO GET TESTED. Every Rhode Islander is encouraged get tested through the PORTAL. Individuals do not need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms. o TEST RESULTS. If you have received a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site. o COVID-19 SCREENING. COVID-19 screening is now available by appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov. ? Results for this type of test at this location will only be communicated verbally. Testing at this location should only be used as a screening tool for people without symptoms. Rhode Islanders requiring proof of a negative test result for travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location. • RI VACCINE PLAN. Here is the plan for COVID-19 vaccinations in RI: PHASE ONE - December to February o 1A: High-risk healthcare workers (e.g. hospital staff, long-term care facility staff); first responders; long-term care facility residents. o 1B: People with significant comorbid conditions (two of more); older adults in congregate or overcrowded settings PHASE TWO – February to April o K-12 teachers, school staff, child care workers o Critical workers in high-risk settings o People with moderate comorbid conditions o People in homeless shelters and group homes and staff o Incarcerated or detained people and staff o All older adults PHASE THREE – April to June o Young adults o Children o Workers in critical industries PHASE FOUR o Everyone who did not have access to vaccine in previous phases. PLEASE NOTE: • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through January 20, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. ? In person service is by appointment only. o The original declaration can be found here. o The extension order can be found here. • RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS. Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. o 14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons. o 10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days. Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious. o 7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days. Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious. • PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. • FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. • CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. o CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. o The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. o It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. o The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. • THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. o Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. o Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. o Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. o To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. o To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. o To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. • OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. o Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. o If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. o As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. o People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. • USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. For COVID vaccinations, those who volunteer to staff the vaccination site will be afforded the option to register for a COVID vaccination if doses are available. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). • DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. o The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey o This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. o If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES • EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. • TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours. Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. o You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. o Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: o Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. o Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. o Stay home if you feel sick. o Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. o Wear face masks as appropriate. • RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. • DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: o The park is limited to 10 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. o One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. o All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. o There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. ? Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. • PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. PERSONAL PROTECTION • THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. o A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. o Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. o RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). o This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. o It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. o CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. o Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: ? No-sew mask • No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie • Make-a-mask no-sew mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ ? Sew a mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ • Pattern for a mask • Instructions for a mask • Video tutorial • MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING • TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. • PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. • SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. • RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. • COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. o TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: ? MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here ? This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION • BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. • EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Go to the re-opening RI web site and complete the appropriate event template for your event.  For private events, have a copy of the completed template ready for State official review during the event.  For public events, submit the completed form for review to “Business Development Director, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth RI 02871”   (email rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com ) at least 10 business days before your event.  If you require deviations from the event template use this form for requests to deviated from the  event template requirements. • COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to: o Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. o Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. o Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. o Review outbreak response plans. o Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. o Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. • ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. o The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. o These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. o EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. o Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. o Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. • BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. o More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. • RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  More information on compliance and penalties is at the State Department of Business Regulation Web Site. A convenient checklist for compliance can be found here. • MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: o Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. o Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. o The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. o High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. ? Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. ? Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. o Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: ? Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. o Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. o Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. ? Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. ? Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. ? All transactions should be done electronically. • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.  • HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. • EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. • SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts.More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE • CONGRESSIONAL STIMULUS. Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief. The final package includes aid for struggling households, in the form of an additional round of $600 stimulus payments, a $300 unemployment insurance supplement through March 14, 2021, and extensions to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed or gig workers and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which covers unemployment for workers who exhaust state benefits. The relief package includes: o Another round of direct stimulus payments of up to $600 per person for most Americans, with another $600 for each dependent child living in the same household; o $25 billion for rental assistance; o 11 additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, including for the self-employed and independent contractors, and an additional $300 unemployment benefit for all; o An additional 11 weeks of federal financing for work-sharing programs to help businesses keep workers on the job; o $69 billion to support vaccines, testing, and contact tracing, including roughly $32 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, more than $22 billion for testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation, $4.5 billion in mental health and substance use disorder funding, and $9 billion to support health care providers; o $325 billion in small business aid ($284 billion of which is another round of modified PPP loans, along with $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program funding and $15 billion to support closed performance and entertainment venues); o $45 billion for transportation, including $14 billion in additional transit support, $10B in additional surface transportation block grant funding that can be used directly by communities above 200,000 and across the state, as well as $2 billion additional for primary and general aviation airports; o $54.3 billion for public K-12 schools, $10 billion for childcare (funding the Child Care & Development Block Grant and Head Start); o $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; o $7 billion for broadband ($3.2 billion of which is dedicated to a low-income broadband emergency subsidy for households, and another $300 million for rural broadband); o $4.25 billion to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support, including $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant; o And $2 billion to support the motor coach and bus industry, including intercity bus services, charter bus operators, and school bus service providers. • EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENSION. The stimulus bill extends the CDC’s eviction moratorium from December 30, 2020, to January 30, 2021. If you are risk of eviction due to non-payment of rent, assistance may be available from agencies such as Crossroads, United Way, and the various community action agencies. For help, you can call 211. Apply on-line to Safe Harbor. o Free legal help for low-income tenants is available from: ? Rhode Island Legal Services: 401-274-2652 ? The Rhode Island Center for Justice: 401-491-1101 • CALLING ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS. The state will again start issuing certain temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care New England. • CALLING ON VOLUNTEERS. The State is calling on volunteers to help in various needed capacities in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases. People looking to volunteer can look for opportunities at www.riresponds.org. • WER1 RI RELIEF FUND. There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund. This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. o The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card. Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance. o All monies in the fund are derived from donations. There are no State dollars in the program. o Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here. • HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance. Eligible homeowners must: o Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island o Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic o Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after o Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 o Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance o Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 o Meet household income limits ? =$97,646 for 1-2-person households ? =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households • MENTAL HEALTH. COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming. Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders. The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. o NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. • STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS. Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click here for more information. • NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. o The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. o Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. • BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. o DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. o Text BESAFE to 44321 or Click here to donate. • EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. • VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders are able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months. • BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. o Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. o More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. • UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. • CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. • HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: o Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. o A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. o Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. o First and last month’s rent. o Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. o Assistance in bringing units to code. o Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. o For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. o Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible. In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: ? The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and ? The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. o Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/. They may also be reached by dialing 211. • SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. o For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. o SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. o To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. o To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. ? Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. • WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. • VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. • COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. • DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. • NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) • STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. • SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. o Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php o If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. • STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. • SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. o The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. o There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. o Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. • ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. • RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. • PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. • HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. o Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? • Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. • The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: o Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. o Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. o Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). o Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. o Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. o Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. o Town Webpages: ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) ? Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE December 23, 2020 1300

3 weeks 2 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 12/23/2020 There will be no update next week. Next update will be issued Thursday, January 7th.   PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential   SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                 78,174,164 Recovered:                 44,134,158 Deaths:                        1,720,949   USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                18,238,318 Recovered:                 Not Available Deaths:                        322,851   Rhode Island (RI Department of Health, as of Dec 22nd) Total Cases:                81,187 Hospitalized:              440 Deaths:                        1,678   Aquidneck Island (as of Dec 18th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases:   1295 Deaths                          Not Available   Staff Active Cases:              0 Quarantined:             1 Deaths:                        0   TODAY’s INFORMATION: PAGE 1   ·         SOCIAL GATHERINGS OVER THE HOLIDAYS.  Social gathering size is limited to the people you live with—your household. An adult who lives alone or is a single parent can gather with one other household, as long as the gathering is not more than five people.  Outdoor diners may combine two households if they eat outside.   CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND ALLOCATION.  Rhode Island will have expended all of current relief funds before the Dec. 30 deadline.  Here is a breakdown of how the funds were allocated in RI: COVID Health Response                                $129.3M Business and Economic Support                $488.7M Individual Supports                                         $90.7M Education Support                                           $116.8M Municipal Support                                           $126.5M State Government Response                      $288.1M TOTAL                                                                   $1,250.0M   relief package includes: Another round of direct stimulus payments of up to $600 per person for most Americans, with another $600 for each dependent child living in the same household; $25 billion for rental assistance; 11 additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, including for the self-employed and independent contractors, and an additional $300 unemployment benefit for all; An additional 11 weeks of federal financing for work-sharing programs to help businesses keep workers on the job; $69 billion to support vaccines, testing, and contact tracing, including roughly $32 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, more than $22 billion for testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation, $4.5 billion in mental health and substance use disorder funding, and $9 billion to support health care providers; $325 billion in small business aid ($284 billion of which is another round of modified PPP loans, along with $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program funding and $15 billion to support closed performance and entertainment venues); $45 billion for transportation, including $14 billion in additional transit support, $10B in additional surface transportation block grant funding that can be used directly by communities above 200,000 and across the state, as well as $2 billion additional for primary and general aviation airports; $54.3 billion for public K-12 schools, $10 billion for childcare (funding the Child Care & Development Block Grant and Head Start); $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; $7 billion for broadband ($3.2 billion of which is dedicated to a low-income broadband emergency subsidy for households, and another $300 million for rural broadband); p2 $4.25 billion to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support, including $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant; And $2 billion to support the motor coach and bus industry, including intercity bus services, charter bus operators, and school bus service providers.   Safe Harbor. Free legal help for low-income tenants is available from: Rhode Island Legal Services: 401-274-2652 The Rhode Island Center for Justice: 401-491-1101   AVOID COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS.  As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams: You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine. You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access. Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources. Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment. Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.  If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to: tips.hhs.gov ic3.gov CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE   THE ‘PAUSE PERIOD HAS ENDED.  Here is the current guidance: Category                                                                              Guidance In Person Schools                                                             PreK-8 open, HS limited                                                                                                 higher ed remote   Child Care                                                                            Open   Manufacturing / Construction                                    Open   Personal Services                                                             Open   Retail                                                                                     1 person / 100 sq. ft.                                                                                                 (big box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.)   Houses of Worship                                                          25% capacity                                                                                                 max of 125 people       PAGE 3   Bar Areas                                                                             Closed   Indoor Dining                                                                     50% capacity, early closures                                                                                                 one household / table   Venues of Assembly                                                       25% capacity                                                                                                 Max of 125 people   Gyms and Sports Facilities                                            1 person / 150 sq. ft.   Indoor Recreation                                                            1 person / 150 sq. ft.   These restrictions still present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling.  Please shop local this year – they really need our support.   PORTAL.  Individuals do not need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms. https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site. portal.ri.gov.   travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location.   HOLIDAY TESTING STRATEGY.  The Department of Health will set up “popup testing sites” in places where people are expected to be and gather over the holiday period.  Testing will be administered free to people at these sites.  Expect to see the sites established at malls, shopping centers, Stop and Shop grocery stores, Churches, etc.  A list will be made available at the RI DOH website. Click here. Test will be free and no appointment will be necessary.   RI VACCINE PLAN.  Here is the plan for COVID-19 vaccinations in RI: PHASE ONE - December to February 1A: High-risk healthcare workers (e.g. hospital staff, long-term care facility staff); first responders; long-term care facility residents.                PAGE 4 1B: People with significant comorbid conditions (two of more); older adults in congregate or overcrowded settings PHASE TWO – February to April K-12 teachers, school staff, child care workers Critical workers in high-risk settings People with moderate comorbid conditions People in homeless shelters and group homes and staff Incarcerated or detained people and staff All older adults PHASE THREE – April to June Young adults Children Workers in critical industries PHASE FOUR Everyone who did not have access to vaccine in previous phases.   PLEASE NOTE:   PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through January 20, 2020. Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only. found here. found here.   RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS.  Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.  Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. 14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons. 10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days.  Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious. 7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days.  Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious. PAGE 5 PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.   FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.   CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.   THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.  Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.   Operating Hours:  Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.   stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.   To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.           PAGE 6   To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.   OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL.  If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. at this link.   rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com).       PAGE 7 DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com   INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES   EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.   TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here.   PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457.  You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.   PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES.  Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.  PAGE 8   Indicator                                              Move ahead a phase                      Move back a phase Hospital Capacity                              Less than 70% of beds filled         85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations                      Consistently 30 or fewer new     Consistently 50 or more new                                                                 hospitalizations daily                      hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread                                  R Value = 1.1 or lower                    R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of                              Hospitalizations doubling              Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations                                30 days or more                               every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. DOG PARK.  The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: The park is limited to 10 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys.   PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.  Parks and Beaches are open.  Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health.  Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places.  Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.   PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.   CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS.  The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.                                          PAGE 9 Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: No-sew mask No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial   MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39.  Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system.   PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.   SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841.                                                 PAGE 10 RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.   BUSINESS INFORMATION BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.   EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.   COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to: Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans.  Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. PAGE 11 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.   BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.  More information is available at the Town website by clicking here.   MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.  Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS.  For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here.  These steps include: Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day.                                                        PAGE 12 All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities.   MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE.  Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters.  This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.  In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times.  High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.  Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically.   COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.  The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.      PAGE 13   HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.   EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.   SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.   SOCIAL WELFARE CALLING ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS.  The state will again start issuing certain temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care New England.   CALLING ON VOLUNTEERS.   The State is calling on volunteers to help in various needed capacities in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.  People looking to volunteer can look for opportunities at www.riresponds.org. WER1 RI RELIEF FUND.  There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund.  This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card.  Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance. All monies in the fund are derived from donations.  There are no State dollars in the program. Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here.   HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must: Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after  PAGE 14 Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 Meet household income limits =$97,646 for 1-2-person households =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households   MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS.   Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months.  Click here for more information.   NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE.  The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here.   BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED.  “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies.  If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19.  Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission.  FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or  Click here to donate.   EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link : 401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.  PAGE 15   VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders are able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months.      BACK TO WORK RI.  Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY.  Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.  More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.   HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code.                                   PAGE 16 Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. PAGE 17 VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.   COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.   NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text).  For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.   STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.                                     PAGE 18   SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.   ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.   PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.   CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION?   Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.   The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information.                        PAGE 19 Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages: https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) §  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 20

Portsmouth Winter Storm Gail SITREP THREE and FINAL 17 December 2020 1400

4 weeks 1 day ago
Subject: RE: Subject: PORTSMOUTH EMA SITUATION REPORT THREE AND FINAL – WINTER STORM 12/16/2020 SITUATION 17DEC2020 1400 EST (2:00 PM): NWS WINTER STORM WARNING CONTINUED TILL 4:00 PM TODAY. THERE REMAINS NO REPORTED POWER OUTAGES FROM NATIONAL GRID ON AQUIDNECK ISLAND. PARKING BAN REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR PORTSMOUTH TILL 9:00 PM THIS EVENING. ACTIONS TAKEN: a. 17DEC1400 EOC is deactivated. PLANS & RECOMMENDATIONS: a. Winter storm to be monitored remotely. Portsmouth EMA may be reached at (401) 477-2172. PUBLIC INFORMATION: All emergencies should be reported via 911. For preparedness information visit www.portsmouthri.com https://www.portsmouthri.com/143/Emergency-Management General public reporting contacts: Power outages call National Grid during periods of high outage activity at 1-800-465-1212. Gas leaks call National Grid Customer Service Center at 1-800-640-1595 and local Fire Dept. Utility lines down call Police/Fire dispatch at 911. CASE STATUS: CLOSED Parking Ban is in effect till 9:00 PM this evening 12/17/2020. SITUATION 17DEC2020 0800 EST: NWS WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS TILL 1:00 PM TODAY. 3-5 INCHES OF ADDITIONAL SNOW EXPECTED. TEMP 34 DEG F. WIND 12 MPH. SNOW IS WET SO BE CAUTIOUS SHOVELING. NATIONAL GRID REPORTS 133 CUSTUMERS AFFECTED. NONE ON AQUIDNECK ISLAND. ALMOST ALL PWR OUTAGES WERE IN NARRAGANSETT RI. PARKING BAN ON PORTSMOUTH PUBLIC STREETS REMAINS IN EFFECT TILL 9:00 PM TODAY TO FACILITATE SNOW REMOVAL AND TREATMENT. 1. ACTIONS TAKEN: Continue to monitor. 2. PLANS & RECOMMENDATIONS: a. PEMA is participating in todays RIEMA, RIDOT, NWS, NATL. GRID & Local EM Directors phone conference. b. PEMA EOC may be reached at (401) 477-2172. - COMM Unit, VRC and Wellness Team remain on standby. Probability of activation remains LOW. - PIO continues to perform duties from home or office as appropriate. 3. PUBLIC INFORMATION: All emergencies should be reported via 911. For preparedness information visit www.portsmouthri.com https://www.portsmouthri.com/143/Emergency-Management General public reporting contacts: Power outages call National Grid during periods of high outage activity at 1-800-465-1212. Gas leaks call National Grid Customer Service Center at 1-800-640-1595 and local Fire Dept. Utility lines down call Police/Fire dispatch at 911. 4. CASE STATUS: Ongoing. NEXT REPORT: At end of event unless significant change occurs. Drafter: Ray Perry, CEM (401) 477-2172

Portsmouth Winter Storm Gail SITREP 16 December 2020 0800

4 weeks 1 day ago
Subject: PORTSMOUTH EMA SITUATION REPORT TWO – WINTER STORM 12/16/2020 1. SITUATION 17DEC2020 0800 EST: NWS WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS TILL 1:00 PM TODAY. 3-5 INCHES OF ADDITIONAL SNOW EXPECTED. TEMP 34 DEG F. WIND 12 MPH. SNOW IS WET SO BE CAUTIOUS SHOVELING. NATIONAL GRID REPORTS 133 CUSTUMERS AFFECTED. NONE ON AQUIDNECK ISLAND. ALMOST ALL PWR OUTAGES WERE IN NARRAGANSETT RI. PARKING BAN ON PORTSMOUTH PUBLIC STREETS REMAINS IN EFFECT TILL 1:00 PM TODAY TO FACILITATE SNOW REMOVAL AND TREATMENT. 2. ACTIONS TAKEN: Continue to monitor. 3. PLANS & RECOMMENDATIONS: a. PEMA is participating in todays RIEMA, RIDOT, NWS, NATL. GRID & Local EM Directors phone conference. b. PEMA EOC may be reached at (401) 477-2172. - COMM Unit, VRC and Wellness Team remain on standby. Probability of activation remains LOW. - PIO continues to perform duties from home or office as appropriate. 4. PUBLIC INFORMATION: All emergencies should be reported via 911. For preparedness information visit www.portsmouthri.com https://www.portsmouthri.com/143/Emergency-Management General public reporting contacts: Power outages call National Grid during periods of high outage activity at 1-800-465-1212. Gas leaks call National Grid Customer Service Center at 1-800-640-1595 and local Fire Dept. Utility lines down call Police/Fire dispatch at 911. 5. CASE STATUS: Ongoing. NEXT REPORT: At end of event unless significant change occurs. Drafter: Ray Perry, CEM (401) 477-2172

Portsmouth Winter Storm Gail SITREP ONE 15 December 2020, 1130

4 weeks 1 day ago
Subject: PORTSMOUTH EMA SITUATION REPORT ONE – WINTER STORM 12/16/2020 1. SITUATION 15DEC2020 1130 EST: NWS WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY AFTRERNOON. Heavy snow from storm may commence as early as 6:00 PM today with 6-12 inches of snow anticipated. Wind gusts may reach 45mph. Temp will start near 32 DEG dropping on Thursday morning to MID 20s. Anticipate significant blowing and drifting of snow, downed trees and power lines, and dangerous travel conditions. 2. ACTIONS TAKEN: PEMA is participating in daily RIEMA, RIDOT, NWS, NATL. GRID & Local EM Directors phone conferences. 15 DEC PEMA coordinated non-congregate sheltering planning with “Looking Upwards” homes in Portsmouth. 3. PLANS & RECOMMENDATIONS: a. PPD have ordered a parking ban from Wednesday 16 DEC 7:00 PM through Thursday 17 DEC 9:00 PM, 2020. b. PEMA Office in TH will serve as EOC. EOC will be activated 16 DEC 6:00 PM (anticipate 24-hour activation) with the following components: - CMD will monitor storm from EOC with a particular focus on WebEOC management/RIEMA coordination, Tracking Power Outages, Damage Assessment and Life Lines monitoring, and coordination of Special Needs transportation as requested. EOC Phone number is (401) 643-0350 or (401) 477-2172. - COMM Unit will be in standby status ready to staff post event the Incident Communications Center (ICC) (401) 683-0285 / or EOC as directed. - PIO will perform duties from home or office. - Request VRC and Wellness Teams be in standby and ready to support within two hours of notice. Probability of support being needed is LOW. 4. PUBLIC INFORMATION: All emergencies should be reported via 911. For preparedness information visit www.portsmouthri.com https://www.portsmouthri.com/143/Emergency-Management General public reporting contacts: Power outages call National Grid during periods of high outage activity at 1-800-465-1212. Gas leaks call National Grid Customer Service Center at 1-800-640-1595 and local Fire Dept. Utility lines down call Police/Fire dispatch at 911. 5. CASE STATUS: Ongoing. NEXT REPORT: At end of event unless significant change occurs. Drafter: Ray Perry, CEM (401) 477-2172

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE, December 10, 2020, 1540

1 month ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 12/10/2020 Next update will be issued Thursday, December 17th. PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: · World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 69,299,369 o Recovered: 44,598,003 o Deaths: 1,577,330 · USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Total Cases: 15,483,674 o Recovered: 5,891,885 o Deaths: 290,992 · Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) o Total Cases: 69,247 o Hospitalized: 466 o Deaths: 1,498 · Aquidneck Island (as of Dec 9th) (RI Department of Health) o Cumulative Cases: 1078 o Deaths Not Available · Staff o Active Cases: 4 o Recovered: 1 o Quarantined: 12 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE 1 · PAUSE EXTENDED. Rhode Island’s coronavirus “pause” will be extended for an additional week until Dec. 20, followed by an ease of some restrictions on Dec. 21 while leaving others in place, as the state continues to set records for coronavirus hospitalizations: Category TODAY to 12/20 BEGINNING 12/21 In Person Schools PreK-8, HS limited, PreK-8 open, HS limited higher ed remote higher ed remote Child Care Open Open Manufacturing / Construction Open Open Personal Services Open Open Retail 1 person / 100 sq. ft. 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.) (big box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.) Houses of Worship 25% capacity 25% capacity max of 125 people max of 125 people Bar Areas Closed Closed Indoor Dining 33% capacity, early closures 50% capacity, early closures one household / table one household / table Venues of Assembly Closed 25% capacity Max of 125 people Gyms and Sports Facilities Closed 1 person / 150 sq. ft. Indoor Recreation Closed 1 person / 150 sq. ft. These restrictions present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling. Please shop local this year – they really need our support. · RI VACCINE PLAN. Here is the plan for COVID-19 vaccinations in RI: PHASE ONE - December to February o 1A: High-risk healthcare workers (e.g. hospital staff, long-term care facility staff); first responders; long-term care facility residents. o 1B: People with significant comorbid conditions (two of more); older adults in congregate or overcrowded settings PHASE TWO – February to April o K-12 teachers, school staff, child care workers o Critical workers in high-risk settings PAGE 2 o People with moderate comorbid conditions o People in homeless shelters and group homes and staff o Incarcerated or detained people and staff o All older adults PHASE THREE – April to June o Young adults o Children o Workers in critical industries PHASE FOUR o Everyone who did not have access to vaccine in previous phases. · RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS. Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. o 14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons. o 10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days. Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious. o 7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days. Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious. · EXTENSION OF MONETARY RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES AFFECTED BY RI PAUSE: o This will be automatic for business that have already applied. o RI Businesses who have not previously applied have until midnight on Monday, Dec 14th. § Businesses closed or severely limited during the pause are eligible for a grant up to $50,000. § Grant size will be based on business revenues. § Applications are available at TAX.RI.GOV. o $ Directly to Rhode Islanders receiving unemployment insurance. § An additional $200 will be distributed to all Rhode Islanders receiving unemployment benefits during the pause. · R.I. DIVISION OF TAXATION MODIFIES RI PAUSE GRANT PROGRAM’S FORMULA. In response to concerns raised by the impacted business community, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation has modified the Rhode Island on Pause Grant Program to provide certain industries the option to report the tax filer’s Rhode Island gross receipts. Businesses eligible to use Gross Receipts include: Indoor Recreation and Entertainment Establishments, Gyms and Fitness Centers, Indoor Sports Facilities, and Event Support Professionals. Click here for more detail. · NEW ROUND OF COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS NOW AVAILABLE TO ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS. Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced a new round of $1 million in grant funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) earmarked for arts and culture organizations. The application deadline for all programs is Tuesday (Dec. 15) at 8pm. PAGE 3 o For artists, the funds will be distributed through the Artist Relief Fund. Click here to learn more and to apply. o For arts and culture organizations, the funds will be distributed through three programs. Click on the link to each program to learn more: § CRF Grant for Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations § CRF Grant for RI Expansion Arts and Culturally Specific Organizations § CRF Grant for Investments in Arts and Culture (IAC) Organizations · COVID TESTING. Every Rhode Islander can now get tested through the PORTAL. Individuals will no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms. o TEST RESULTS. If you have received a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site. o COVID-19 SCREENING. COVID-19 screening is now available by appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov. § Results for this type of test at this location will only be communicated verbally. Testing at this location should only be used as a screening tool for people without symptoms. Rhode Islanders requiring proof of a negative test result for travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location. · CALLING ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS. The state will again start issuing certain temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care New England. · CALLING ON VOLUNTEERS. The State is calling on volunteers to help in various needed capacities in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases. People looking to volunteer can look for opportunities at www.riresponds.org. · NEW COVID-19 SCREENING. COVID-19 screening is now available by appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov. o Results for this type of test at this location will only be communicated verbally. Testing at this location should only be used as a screening tool for people without symptoms. Rhode Islanders requiring proof of a negative test result for travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location. PLEASE NOTE: PAGE 4 · PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through December 23, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. § In person service is by appointment only. o The original declaration can be found here. o The extension order can be found here. · STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally. Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: o If you have symptoms: § Stay home, and: · Call your primary provider; or · Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic o If you do not have symptoms: § If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at portal.ri.gov: · Close-contact worker · 18-39 years old · Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate · Recently attended a large protest or demonstration o If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 · PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. · FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. · CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. o CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. PAGE 5 o The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. o It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. o The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. · THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. o Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. o Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. o Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. o To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. o To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. o To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. PAGE 6 · OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. o Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. o If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. o As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. o People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. · USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). · DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. o The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey o This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. o If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES · EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. PAGE 7 · TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. · PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours. Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. o You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. o Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. · PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: o Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. o Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. o Stay home if you feel sick. o Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. o Wear face masks as appropriate. · RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. · DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: PAGE 8 o The park is limited to 10 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. o One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. o All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. o There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. § Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. · PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. PERSONAL PROTECTION · THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. o A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. · CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. o Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. o RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). o This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. o It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. o CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. o Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: § No-sew mask · No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask · https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ § Sew a mask · https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ PAGE 9 · Pattern for a mask · Instructions for a mask · Video tutorial · MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING · TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. · PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. · SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. · RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. · RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. · NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. o Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. PAGE 10 · COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. o TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: § MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here § This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION · RELIEF FOR RESTAURANTS AFFECTED BY THE REVISED PHASE III RESTRICTIONS. All restaurants that hold a liquor license will receive a relief grant from state. The restaurant must self-attest they have been negatively affected by early closure. Full details are available at http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/. RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. · BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. PAGE 11 · EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. · COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to: o Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. o Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. o Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. o Review outbreak response plans. o Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. o Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. · ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. o The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. o These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. o EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. o Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. o Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. · BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. o More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. · USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. PAGE 12 · MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. o Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. o In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. o More information can be found here. · RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include: o Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. o Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). o Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. o All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. o All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. o All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. o All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. · MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: o Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. o Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. PAGE 13 o The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. o High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. § Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. § Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. o Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: § Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. o Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. o Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. § Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. § Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. § All transactions should be done electronically. · COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. · REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: 1. Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? 2. Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? 3. Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? 4. Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? 5. Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? 6. Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? PAGE 14 RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. · HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. · EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. · SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE · WER1 RI RELIEF FUND. There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund. This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. o The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card. Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance. o All monies in the fund are derived from donations. There are no State dollars in the program. o Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here. · HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance. Eligible homeowners must: o Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island o Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic o Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after o Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 o Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance o Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 o Meet household income limits § =$97,646 for 1-2-person households PAGE 15 § =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households · MENTAL HEALTH. COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming. Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders. The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. o NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS. Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click here for more information. · NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. o The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. o Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. · BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. o DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. o Text BESAFE to 44321 or Click here to donate. · EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. PAGE 16 · VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders are able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months. · AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. · BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. o Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. o More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. · UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. · CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. · EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. · HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: o Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. PAGE 17 o A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. o Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. o First and last month’s rent. o Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. o Assistance in bringing units to code. o Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. o For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. o Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible. In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: § The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and § The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. o Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/. They may also be reached by dialing 211. · SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. o For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. o SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. o To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. o To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. § Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. PAGE 18 · WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. · VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. · COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. · DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. · NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) · STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. · HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. PAGE 19 · SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. o Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php o If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. · STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. · WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. · SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. o The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. o There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. o Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. · ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. · RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. · PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. · CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. · HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. PAGE 20 o Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? · Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. · The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: o Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. o Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. o Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). o Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. o Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. o Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. o Town Webpages: § https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx § https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) § Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE December 3, 2020, 1519

1 month 1 week ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 12/03/2020 Next update will be issued Thursday, December 10th.   PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential   SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                 64,830,080 Recovered:                 41,683,155 Deaths:                        1,498,772   USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                13,975,104 Recovered:                 5,322,128 Deaths:                        274,121   Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Total Cases:                60,722 Hospitalized:              409 Deaths:                        1,400   Aquidneck Island (as of Dec 3rd) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases:   901 Deaths                          Not Available   Staff Active Cases:              0 Recovered:                 1 Quarantined:             5 72 Hour wait:             0 Deaths:                        0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE 1 ·         CALLING ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS.  The state will again start issuing certain temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care New England.   www.riresponds.org.   PORTAL.  Individuals will no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms. https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site.   portal.ri.gov.   travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location.   RI DOH website.   Click here for more detail.   RI TWO WEEK PAUSE.  On Monday, November 30th, RI started a “PAUSE” period until December 13th.  In-person colleges and universities, offices, bar areas, recreational venues, and indoor sport facilities and gyms will close beginning Nov. 30 for a planned two-week period.  All pre-K, elementary and middle schools will remain open, as well as child care facilities, manufacturing and construction industries, personal services and health care offices and doctors will remain open. In-person high school will be limited. Specifically: What will remain OPEN: Pre-K through 8th grade school                                           PAGE 2 Child Care Manufacturing and Construction Personal Services Health Care What will be LIMITED: In-Person High School Social Gatherings limited to those living in your household Indoor Dining: 33% capacity, early closures, one household per table Retail: 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box: 1 person / 150 sq. ft.) Houses of Worship 25% capacity (max of 125) What will be CLOSED: In-Person Colleges and Universities Offices (when possible) Bar areas Recreational venues Indoor sport facilities, Gyms and Group Fitness, Organized Sports Excludes NCAA & professional sports   These new restrictions present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling.  Please shop local this year – they really need our support.   $100 MILLION FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES AFFECTED BY RI PAUSE: $50M Directly to RI Businesses Businesses closed or severely limited during the pause are eligible for a grant up to $50,000. Grant size will be based on business revenues. TAX.RI.GOV. $50M Directly to Rhode Islanders An additional $400 ($200 / week) will be distributed to all Rhode Islanders receiving unemployment benefits during the pause.   PLEASE NOTE:   PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through December 23, 2020. Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only. found here. found here. PAGE 3 portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: If you have symptoms: Stay home, and: Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms: portal.ri.gov: Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022   PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.   FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.   CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.   THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.  Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. PAGE 4 Operating Hours:  Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.   stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.   To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.   To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.   OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL.  If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. at this link. PAGE 5 rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com).         DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com   INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES   EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.   TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 6 PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457.  You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.   PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES.  Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.   Indicator                                              Move ahead a phase                      Move back a phase Hospital Capacity                              Less than 70% of beds filled         85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations                      Consistently 30 or fewer new     Consistently 50 or more new                                                                 hospitalizations daily                      hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread                                  R Value = 1.1 or lower                    R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of                              Hospitalizations doubling              Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations                                30 days or more                               every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. DOG PARK.  The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: The park is limited to 10 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys.   PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.                          PAGE 7 Parks and Beaches are open.  Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health.  Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places.  Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.   PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.   CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS.  The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: No-sew mask No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial   MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101.                                    PAGE 8 COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39.  Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system.   PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.   SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR.  The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS.  Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment.   COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here                  PAGE 9 This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.   BUSINESS INFORMATION ·         PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS.  The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December.  Proposals are under evaluation by CommerceRI. https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information.   http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/. RESTORE RI GRANTS.  Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities.  If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. PAGE 10 To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP.  More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.   EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.   COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to: Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans.  Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805.   ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.   BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.  More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 11 USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS.  Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.  The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply.   MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.  Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS.  For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here.  These steps include: Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities.   MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE.  Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters.  This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.  In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:                                                                                                    PAGE 12 Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times.  High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.  Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically.   COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.  The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.    REOPENING RI BUSINESSES.  The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year?                                                                            PAGE 13 Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary?   RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses.  Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.   EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.   SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.   SOCIAL WELFARE WER1 RI RELIEF FUND.  There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund.  This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card.  Only one member per household may receive this dash assistance. All monies in the fund are derived from donations.  There are no Sate dollars I the program. Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here.   HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must: Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020     PAGE 14 Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 Meet household income limits =$97,646 for 1-2-person households =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households   MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS.   Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months.  Click here for more information.   NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE.  The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here.   BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED.  “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies.  If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19.  Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission.  FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or  Click here to donate. PAGE 15 EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link : 401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.   VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders are able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months.      HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC.  Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126.  You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now.  Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ .   AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS.  The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools.  More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website.   BACK TO WORK RI.  Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY.  Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.  More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. PAGE 16 EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM.  If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program.  Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.  Find out more here.   HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address.                                          PAGE 17 SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.   COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.   NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. PAGE 18 HOSPITAL VISITS.  Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak.  If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety.   SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text).  For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.   STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.   WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND.  The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour.  The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.   ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.   PAGE 19   PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.   CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION?   Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.   The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages: https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) §  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 20

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE November 25, 2020,, 1500

1 month 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 11/25/2020 Next update will be issued Thursday, December 3rd.   PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential   SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                 60,037,735 Recovered:                 38,442,797 Deaths:                        1,414,513   USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Total Cases:                12,642,245 Recovered:                 4,696,664 Deaths:                        260,591   Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Total Cases:                52,317 Hospitalized:              357 Deaths:                        1,335   Aquidneck Island (as of Nov 25th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases:   795 Deaths                          Not Available   Staff Active Cases:              0 Recovered:                 1 Quarantined:             2 72 Hour wait:             0 Deaths:                        0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:                                    PAGE 1   ·         RI TWO WEEK PAUSE BEGINS MONDAY.  On Monday, November 30th, RI will start a “PAUSE” period until December 13th.  In-person colleges and universities, offices, bar areas, recreational venues, and indoor sport facilities and gyms will close beginning Nov. 30 for a planned two-week period.  All pre-K, elementary and middle schools will remain open, as well as child care facilities, manufacturing and construction industries, personal services and health care offices and doctors will remain open. In-person high school will be limited. Specifically: What will remain OPEN: Pre-K through 8th grade school Child Care Manufacturing and Construction Personal Services Health Care What will be LIMITED: In-Person High School Social Gatherings limited to those living in your household Indoor Dining: 33% capacity, early closures, one household per table Retail: 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box: 1 person / 150 sq. ft.) Houses of Worship 25% capacity (max of 125) What will be CLOSED: In-Person Colleges and Universities Offices (when possible) Bar areas Recreational venues Indoor sport facilities, Gyms and Group Fitness, Organized Sports Excludes NCAA & professional sports   These new restrictions present additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already struggling.  Please shop local this year – they really need our support.   $100 MILLION FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES AFFECTED BY RI PAUSE: $50M Directly to RI Businesses Businesses closed or severely limited during the pause are eligible for a grant up to $50,000. Grant size will be based on business revenues. TAX.RI.GOV. $50M Directly to Rhode Islanders An additional $400 ($200 / week) will be distributed to all Rhode Islanders receiving unemployment benefits during the pause. PAGE 2 WER1 RI RELIEF FUND.  There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund.  This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card.  Only one member per household may receive this dash assistance. All monies in the fund are derived from donations.  There are no Sate dollars I the program. found here.   THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE.  Everyone is strongly encouraged to “keep it local” and only celebrate with family members this Thanksgiving holiday.  It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local.  Please: Stay home and celebrate with people you live with. If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. If you must travel, rapid testing will be offered at TF Green Airport on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday after Thanksgiving.   portal.ri.gov.   https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site.   PLEASE NOTE:   PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through December 23, 2020. Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only. found here. found here. PAGE 3 portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: If you have symptoms: Stay home, and: Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms: portal.ri.gov: Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022   PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.   FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.   CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.   THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.  Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.   Operating Hours:  Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.   stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.  PAGE 4   To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.   To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.   OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL.  If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. at this link.   ·         THERE IS STILL A 10-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS.  Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 10 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. [BAR1]  PAGE 5 rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com).         DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com   INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES   EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.   TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 6 PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457.  You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.   PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES.  Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.   Indicator                                              Move ahead a phase                      Move back a phase Hospital Capacity                              Less than 70% of beds filled         85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations                      Consistently 30 or fewer new     Consistently 50 or more new                                                                 hospitalizations daily                      hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread                                  R Value = 1.1 or lower                    R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of                              Hospitalizations doubling              Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations                                30 days or more                               every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. DOG PARK.  The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. PAGE 7 PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.  Parks and Beaches are open.  Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health.  Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places.  Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.   PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.   CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS.  The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: No-sew mask No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial   MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101. PAGE 8 COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39.  Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system.   PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.   SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR.  The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS.  Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment.   COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. PAGE 9 BUSINESS INFORMATION ·         PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS.  The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December.  rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382)  as soon as possible. https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information.   http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/. RESTORE RI GRANTS.  Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities.  If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19.   To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program.            PAGE 10 Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP.  More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.   EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.   COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to: Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans.  Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805.   ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.   BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.  More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 11 USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS.  Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.  The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply.   MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.  Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS.  For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here.  These steps include: Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities.   MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE.  Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters.  This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.  In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:                                                             PAGE 12 Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times.  High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.  Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically.   COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.  The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.    REOPENING RI BUSINESSES.  The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year?    PAGE 13 Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary?   RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses.  Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.   EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.   SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.   SOCIAL WELFARE HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must: Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 Meet household income limits =$97,646 for 1-2-person households =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households PAGE 14 MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS.   Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months.  Click here for more information.   NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE.  The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here.   BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED.  “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies.  If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19.  Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission.  FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or  Click here to donate.   EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link : 401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.   VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months.                          PAGE 15     HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC.  Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126.  You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now.  Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ .   AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS.  The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools.  More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website.   BACK TO WORK RI.  Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY.  Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.  More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.   EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM.  If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program.  Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.  Find out more here. PAGE 16 HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. PAGE 17 WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.   COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.   NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS.  Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak.  If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. PAGE 18 SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text).  For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.   STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.   WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND.  The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour.  The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.   ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.   PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.   CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.           PAGE 19 HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION?   Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.   The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages: https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) §  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 20  [BAR1]Question on this? Or leave for now?

Portsmouth COVID-19 Update November 19, 2020 1735

1 month 3 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 11/19/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday, November 25th PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: • World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Cases: 56,655,118 o Recovered: 36,334,323 o Deaths: 1,355,143 • USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Cases: 11,620,037 o Recovered: 4,348,089 o Deaths: 251,445 • Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) o Cases: 46,951 o Hospitalized: 298 o Deaths: 1,288 • Aquidneck Island (as ofNov18th) (RI Department of Health) o Cumulative Cases: 675 o Deaths Not Available • Staff o Active Cases: 0 o Recovered: 1 o Quarantined: 2 o 72 Hour wait: 0 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE 1 • NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS ANNOUNCED BY GOVERNOR RAIMONDO. Current COVID restrictions will continue until November 30th. On November 30th, RI will start a “PAUSE” period until December 13th. In-person colleges and universities, offices, bar areas, recreational venues, and indoor sport facilities and gyms will close beginning Nov. 30 for a planned two-week period. All pre-K, elementary and middle schools will remain open, as well as child care facilities, manufacturing and construction industries, personal services and health care offices and doctors will remain open. In-person high school will be limited. Specifically: o What will remain OPEN: ? Pre-K through 8th grade school ? Child Care ? Manufacturing and Construction ? Personal Services ? Health Care o What will be LIMITED: ? In-Person High School ? Social Gatherings limited to those living in your household ? Indoor Dining: • 33% capacity, early closures, one household per table ? Retail: • 1 person / 100 sq. ft. (big box: 1 person / 150 sq. ft.) ? Houses of Worship • 25% capacity (max of 125) o What will be CLOSED: ? In-Person Colleges and Universities ? Offices (when possible) ? Bar areas ? Recreational venues ? Indoor sport facilities, Gyms and Group Fitness, Organized Sports • Excludes NCAA & professional sports • CURRENT THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE. The Governor is urging everyone to “keep it local” and only celebrate with family members this Thanksgiving holiday. It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local. Everyone is strongly encouraged to: o Stay home and celebrate with people you live with. o If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. o If you must travel, rapid testing will be offered at TF Green Airport on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday after Thanksgiving. • COVID TEST RESULTS. If you have received a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site. • RI PLANNING FOR COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION. Confidence is growing that a vaccine will soon be available. When the vaccine arrives, the number of available doses will be limited. Vaccinations will likely be distributed to the population in phases: PAGE 2 o Phase I: high risk personnel o Phase II: workers in high risk settings / older adults o Phase III: remaining lower risk individuals o More information will be released as the deployment of a vaccine draws closer. PLEASE NOTE: • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through November 27, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. ? In person service is by appointment only. o The original declaration can be found here. o The extension order can be found here. • STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally. Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.govto schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: o If you have symptoms: ? Stay home, and: • Call your primary provider; or • Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic o If you do not have symptoms: ? If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV: • Close-contact worker • 18-39 years old • Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate • Recently attended a large protest or demonstration o If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 • PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through November. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) • PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. • FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. PAGE 3 • CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. o CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. o The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. o It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. o The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. • THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. o Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. o Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. o Contact the Emergency Food Bank:Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. o To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. o To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. PAGE 4 o To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. • OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. o Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. o If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. o As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. o People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. • THERE IS STILL A 10-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. o Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. o Limit your circle of contacts to 10 people or less; o All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. o Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. • USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS.When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). • DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. o The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey o This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. page 5 o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. o If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES • EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can befound here. • TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours. Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. o You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. o Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: o Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. o Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. o Stay home if you feel sick. o Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. o Wear face masks as appropriate. PAGE 6 • RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. • ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com. o Adult Sports. o Pools. o Office Environments. o Farmers Markets. o Funeral Homes. o Realtors. o Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. o Restaurants and Entertainment. • DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is openunder the following guidelines: o The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. o One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. o All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. o There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. ? Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. • CHILD CARE.The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. • PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. PAGE 7 Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. • NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. PERSONAL PROTECTION • THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer,business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. o A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. o Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. o RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). o This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. o It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. o CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. o Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: ? No-sew mask • No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie • Make-a-mask no-sew mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ ? Sew a mask • https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ • Pattern for a mask • Instructions for a mask • Video tutorial • MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. PAGE 8 COVID-19 TESTING • TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. • PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. • SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. • ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. • RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. • RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. • NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. o Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. • COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. o TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: PAGE 9 ? MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transportand have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here ? This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION • PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS. The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. o Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December. o A Request for Proposals has been issued by the Town. Proposals are due before November 30. For questions and other information contact the Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. o For more information (and the RFP when issued) go to the Town web page (https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) o Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information. • RELIEF FOR RESTAURANTS AFFECTED BY THE REVISED PHASE III RESTRICTIONS. All restaurants that hold a liquor license will receive a relief grant from state. The restaurant must self-attest they have been negatively affected by early closure. Full details are available at http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/. • RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: o Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. o Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. o Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. PAGE 10 To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. • BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. • EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this formfor requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. • COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to: o Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. o Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. o Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. o Review outbreak response plans. o Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. o Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. • ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. o The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. o These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. o EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. o Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. o Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. • BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.The Town of Portsmouthbegan accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. o More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 11 • USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfapfor more info or to apply. • MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. o Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. o In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. o More information can be found here. • RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include: o Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. o Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). o Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. o All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. o All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. o All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. PAGE 12 o All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. • MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: o Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. o Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. o The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. o High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. ? Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. ? Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. o Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: ? Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. o Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. o Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. ? Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. ? Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. ? All transactions should be done electronically. • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY.SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. PAGE 13 • REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: 1. Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? 2. Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? 3. Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? 4. Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? 5. Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? 6. Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. • HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. • EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. • SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE • HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance. Eligible homeowners must: o Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island o Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic o Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after PAGE 14 o Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 o Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance o Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 o Meet household income limits ? =$97,646 for 1-2-person households ? =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households • MENTAL HEALTH. COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming. Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders. The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. o NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. • STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS. Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click here for more information. • NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. o The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. o Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. • BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. o DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. o TextBESAFE to 44321 orClick here to donate. • EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. PAGE 15 • VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL).Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing pageand a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months. • HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/. • AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. • EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. o It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. o The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. • BACK TO WORK RI.Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. o Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. o More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. PAGE 16 • UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. • CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. • SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include: o All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. o All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. o The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. o Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. o School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. o While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. o 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) o 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) • EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program.Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.Find out more here. • HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: o Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. o A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. o Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. o First and last month’s rent. o Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. PAGE 17 o Assistance in bringing units to code. o Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. o For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. o Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible. In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: ? The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and ? The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. o Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/. They may also be reached by dialing 211. • SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. o For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. o SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. o To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. o To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. ? Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. • WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. PAGE 18 • VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extendstheir sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. • COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 • COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. • DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. • NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) • STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. • HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. • SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. PAGE 19 o Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php o If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. • STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. • WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. • SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. o The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. o There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. o Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. • ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. • RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. • PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd.Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. • HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODavailable to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. PAGE 20 o Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.comand enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? • Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible.Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. • The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: o Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. o Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. o Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). o Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. o Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. o Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. o Town Webpages: ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight ? https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat(and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) ? Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE November 12, 2022, 1558

2 months ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 11/12/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday, November 18th.   PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential   SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases:                           52,437,443 Recovered:                 34,790,771 Deaths:                        1,288,529   USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases:                           10,441,937 Recovered:                 3,997,175 Deaths:                        242,073   Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases:                           40,764 Hospitalized:              232 Deaths:                        1,250   Aquidneck Island (as of Nov11th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases:   582 Deaths                          Not Available   Staff Active Cases:              0 Recovered:                 1 Quarantined:             1 72 Hour wait:             0 Deaths:                        0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:                                                                      PAGE 1     PLEASE ADHEAR TO COVID RESTRICIONS.  The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly worsening in Rhode Island, raising the possibility of another full-scale lockdown.  The Governor has ordered preparations to begin for the opening of a field hospital and has signaled she will announce further restrictions for the celebration of Thanksgiving.  Everyone needs to strictly adhere to current RI DOH and CDC guidance to dampen the spread of the virus.   CURRENT THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE.  The Governor is urging everyone to “keep it local” and only celebrate with family members this Thanksgiving holiday.  It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local. If you must travel, please pay strict adherence to current COVID safety measures for fourteen days prior to the holiday to ensure you are not a virus spreader.  Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely: Keep gatherings small. Wear a mask before and after eating, and maintain social distance whenever possible. Wash hands frequently. Avoid shared utensils and buffet-style serving. If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. Limit the length of the gathering to just a few hours instead of all day.   https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site.   RI PLANNING FOR COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION.  Confidence is growing that a vaccine will soon be available.  When the vaccine arrives, the number of available doses will be limited.  Vaccinations will likely be distributed to the population in phases: Phase I: high risk personnel Phase II: workers in high risk settings / older adults Phase III: remaining lower risk individuals More information will be released as the deployment of a vaccine draws closer.   REVISED PHASE III REGULATIONS.   The Governor has announced revised Phase III restrictions.  The social gathering limit has been lowered from 15 to 10 (for unstructured social gatherings): A stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights.  It will begin at 10:30 on Friday and Saturday. All restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities, and personal services must end service at 10pm on weeknights and 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday.  Restaurants may stay open for take-out only. The capacity limit for indoor venues (performing arts venues, movie theaters, houses of worship) is 50% with a maximum of 125 people.  The outdoor venue limit is 66% with a maximum of 150 people. The limit for catered evens is 25 people indoors and 75 outdoors, with exceptions for previously-scheduled weddings. The capacity limit for big box stores is 1 person per 150 sq. ft. Masks are required when with people you don’t live with, including outside and at the gym. PAGE 2   RI YOUTH AND AMATEUR SPORTS.  For all sports, spectators are limited to 2 per athlete under 18 years old.  Masks are required (including during game play).  Clear record keeping and contact tracing are mandatory and out of state travel is prohibited.  Additionally: Low Risk Sports – competitive paly and hosting inter-state tournaments allowed: Track and field, individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, skiing, sideline cheer, cross country, archery, cycling, equestrian, snowboarding, singles figure skating, solo sailing. Moderate Rick Sports – competitive play allowed, inter-state tournaments prohibited: Basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, tennis, swimming relays, girls lacrosse, water polo, fencing, competitive group cycling, non-competitive dance, individual competitive dance, team sailing. High Risk Sports – competitive play and inter-state tournaments prohibited: Wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, rugby, boxing, competitive martial arts, pairs figure skating.   PLEASE NOTE:   PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through November 27, 2020. Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only. found here. found here.   portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: If you have symptoms: Stay home, and: Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms: If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV: Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 PAGE 3   .  The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through November. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.)   PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.   FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.   CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.   THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.  Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.   Operating Hours:  Wednesday and, Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.   stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. PAGE 4 To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.   To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.   OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL.   If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. at this link.   THERE IS STILL A 10-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS.  Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 10 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. PAGE 5 rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com).         DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com   INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES   EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.   TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here.   PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457.  You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.                                              PAGE 6   PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to: Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES.  Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.   Indicator                                              Move ahead a phase                      Move back a phase Hospital Capacity                              Less than 70% of beds filled         85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations                      Consistently 30 or fewer new     Consistently 50 or more new                                                                 hospitalizations daily                      hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread                                  R Value = 1.1 or lower                    R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of                              Hospitalizations doubling              Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations                                30 days or more                               every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE.  Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com. Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK.  The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys.  PAGE 7   CHILD CARE.  The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen.  Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.  Parks and Beaches are open.  Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health.  Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places.  Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.   NEW REAL ID DEADLINE.  The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back.  The new deadline is October 1, 2021.   UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19. ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359.   PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.   CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS.  The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:   PAGE 8 No-sew mask No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial   MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39.  Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system.   PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.   SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING.  The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites.  You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. PAGE 9 RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR.  The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS.  Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment.   COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.   BUSINESS INFORMATION ·         PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS.  The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December.  rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382)  as soon as possible. https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information.   http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/.      PAGE 10   RESTORE RI GRANTS.  Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities.  If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19.   To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP.  More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.   EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.   COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to: Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans.  Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. PAGE 11 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.     BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.  More information is available at the Town website by clicking here.   USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS.  Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.  The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply.   MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.  Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. PAGE 12 RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS.  For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here.  These steps include: Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities.   MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE.  Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters.  This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.  In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site: Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times.  High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.  Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc.   PAGE 13 Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically.   COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.  The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.    REOPENING RI BUSINESSES.  The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary?   RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses.  Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.   EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here. PAGE 14 SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.   SOCIAL WELFARE HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must: Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 Meet household income limits =$97,646 for 1-2-person households =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households   MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS.   Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months.  Click here for more information.   NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE.  The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. PAGE 15 BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED.  “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies.  If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19.  Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission.  FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or  Click here to donate.   EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link : 401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.   VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months.      HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC.  Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126.  You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now.  Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ .   AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS.  The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools.  More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website.   EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system.   It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty.                                                                         PAGE 16 The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. BACK TO WORK RI.  Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY.  Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.  More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.   SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH.  There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year.  Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include: All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video)                                                  PAGE 17   EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM.  If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program.  Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.  Find out more here.   HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.                                                                                            PAGE 18 For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.   COVID CONCERNS.   If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1   COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.   NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) PAGE 19 STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to                https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS.  Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak.  If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety.   SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text).  For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.   STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.   WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND.  The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour.  The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.   ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. PAGE 19 RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.   PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.   CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION?   Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.   The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:  PAGE 21 https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) §  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 22

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE November 5, 2020 1602

2 months 1 week ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 11/05/2020 Next update will be issued Thursday, November 12th.   PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential   SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases:                           48,461,273 Recovered:                 32,030,613 Deaths:                        1,229,758   USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases:                           9,544,315 Recovered:                 3,743,527 Deaths:                        234,300   Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases:                           35,750 Hospitalized:              182 Deaths:                        1,222   Aquidneck Island (as of Nov 4th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases:   513 Deaths                          Not Available   Staff Active Cases:              0 Recovered:                 1 Quarantined:             0 72 Hour wait:             0 Deaths:                        0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE1   REVISED PHASE III REGULATIONS.   The Governor has announced revised Phase III restrictions.  All people in Rhode Island will receive an alert to this on their phone at noon on Sunday, November 8th.  The social gathering limit has been lowered from 15 to 10 (for unstructured social gatherings).  Additionally, starting Sunday, November 8th: A stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10pm-5am on weeknights.  It will begin at 10:30 on Friday and Saturday. All restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational facilities, and personal services must end service at 10pm on weeknights and 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday.  Restaurants may stay open for take-out only. The capacity limit for indoor venues (performing arts venues, movie theaters, houses of worship) is 50% with a maximum of 125 people.  The outdoor venue limit is 66% with a maximum of 150 people. The limit for catered evens is 25 people indoors and 75 outdoors, with exceptions for previously-scheduled weddings. The capacity limit for big box stores is 1 person per 150 sq. ft. Masks are required when with people you don’t live with, including outside and at the gym.   RI YOUTH AND AMATEUR SPORTS.  For all sports, spectators are limited to 2 per athlete under 18 years old.  Masks are required (including during game play).  Clear record keeping and contact tracing are mandatory and out of state travel is prohibited.  Additionally: Low Risk Sports – competitive paly and hosting inter-state tournaments allowed: Track and field, individual swimming, golf, weightlifting, skiing, sideline cheer, cross country, archery, cycling, equestrian, snowboarding, singles figure skating, solo sailing. Moderate Rick Sports – competitive play allowed, inter-state tournaments prohibited: Basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, tennis, swimming relays, girls lacrosse, water polo, fencing, competitive group cycling, non-competitive dance, individual competitive dance, team sailing. High Risk Sports – competitive play and inter-state tournaments prohibited: Wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, rugby, boxing, competitive martial arts, pairs figure skating.   tax.ri.gov  on  Monday, November 9th.   Click here for more information.   MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression PAGE 2 and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020. NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264.   PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS.  The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December.  rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382)  as soon as possible. https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information.   Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must: Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020 Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500 Meet household income limits =$97,646 for 1-2-person households =$112,293 for 3 or more-person households   THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE.  The Governor is urging everyone to “keep it local” this Thanksgiving holiday.  It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local. If you must travel, please pay strict adherence to current COVID safety measures for fourteen days prior to the holiday to ensure you are not a virus spreader.  Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely Keep gatherings small. Wear a mask before and after eating, and maintain social distance whenever possible. Wash hands frequently. Avoid shared utensils and buffet-style serving.                                               PAGE 3 If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. Limit the length of the gathering to just a few hours instead of all day.   PLEASE NOTE:   PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through November 27, 2020. Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only. found here. found here.   portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go: If you have symptoms: Stay home, and: Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms: If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV: Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022   .  The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through November. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.)   PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.   FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. PAGE 4 CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease. CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.   THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.  Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.   Operating Hours:  Wednesday and, Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.   stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.   To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. PAGE 5 To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.   OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL.   If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. at this link.   THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS.  Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines.   www.reopeningri.com (scroll to the bottom of the page to “Additional Resources – Guidance for Events (Weddings, Performances, etc.)).  A copy of this Event Template should be made available at the event.  Please forward a copy of the Event Template to COVID@PortsmouthRI.com.    View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for: Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events) Limits for indoor settings Limit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settings Limit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services) Limits for indoor settings Limit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settings Limit of 250 people                                              PAGE 6 Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches) Limits for indoor settings Indoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings 6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval.   PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports: No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted ReopeningRI.com   rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com).    PAGE 7     DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444. The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com   INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES   EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.   TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here.   PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457.  You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.   PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:                                               PAGE 8 Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES.  Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.   Indicator                                              Move ahead a phase                      Move back a phase Hospital Capacity                              Less than 70% of beds filled         85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations                      Consistently 30 or fewer new     Consistently 50 or more new                                                                 hospitalizations daily                      hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread                                  R Value = 1.1 or lower                    R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of                              Hospitalizations doubling              Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations                                30 days or more                               every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE.  Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com. Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK.  The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines: The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available. Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys.   CHILD CARE.  The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen.  Guidance is available by clicking here.                                                   PAGE 9 PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.  Parks and Beaches are open.  Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health.  Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places.  Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.   NEW REAL ID DEADLINE.  The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back.  The new deadline is October 1, 2021.   UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19. ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359.   PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations. A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.   CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS.  The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public. Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: No-sew mask No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/         PAGE 10 Sew a mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial   MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39.  Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system.   PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.   SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING.  The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites.  You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free.   RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR.  The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App.  PAGE 11 NURSING HOME WORKERS.  Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment.   COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website. TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.   BUSINESS INFORMATION RESTORE RI GRANTS.  Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities.  If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19.   To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP.  More information may be found here.  PAGE 12 BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.   EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.   COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to: Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans.  Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805.   ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.     BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.  More information is available at the Town website by clicking here.   USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS.  Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19.  The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every PAGE 13 American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply.   MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.  Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS.  For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.  The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules.  Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here.  These steps include: Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities.   MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE.  Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters.  This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.  In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:                                                                                                                            PAGE 14 Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times.  High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after. Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.  Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically.   COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19.  The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.    REOPENING RI BUSINESSES.  The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year?                                                                         PAGE 15 Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary?   RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses.  Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.   EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.   SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.   SOCIAL WELFARE NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE.  The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities. The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here.   BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED.  “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies.  If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name. DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19.  Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission.  FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or  Click here to donate.                                               PAGE 16   EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link : 401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.   VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months.      HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC.  Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126.  You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now.  Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ .   AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS.  The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools.  More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website.   EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system.   It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. PAGE 17 BACK TO WORK RI.  Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding. Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY.  Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.  More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.   SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH.  There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year.  Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include: All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video)   EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM.  If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program.  Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process.  Find out more here.   HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:                             page 18 Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation. Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria: The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart. For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here. Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. PAGE 19 WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.   COVID CONCERNS.   If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1   COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.   NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS.  Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak.  If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. PAGE 20 SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text).  For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.   STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.   WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND.  The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour.  The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.   ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.   PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.   CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.  PAGE 21 HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status. Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION?   Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.   The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows: Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages: https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) §  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog                                                PAGE 22

Portsmouth Issues Thirteenth Supplemental Emergency Declaration October 28, 2020

2 months 2 weeks ago
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-14 October 28, 2020 THIRTEENTH SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION This is an Emergency Declaration supplement to the Portsmouth Executive Order 2020-1 issued March16, 2020.COVID-19 continues to spread globally. For the protection of the health of the people of Rhode Island and the further prevention of the spread of COVID-19, and pursuant to the Rhode Island General Laws and the Town of Portsmouth Emergency Operations Plan, including but not limited to Title 30, Chapter 15 of the General Laws, I do hereby order and direct the following:1.Executive Order 2020-01 issued on March 16, 2020 and all supplemental orders are extended through November 27, 2020. ORDERED this 28thday of October2020. Kevin M. Aguiar Town Council President Town of Portsmouth, RI

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE October 28, 2020 1627

2 months 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 10/28/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday (and every Wednesday thereafter) unless otherwise noted PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 44,304,816 Recovered: 29,888,430 Deaths: 1,171,119 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 8,833,396 Recovered: 3,487,666 Deaths: 227,320 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 31,944 Hospitalized: 136 Deaths: 1,192 Aquidneck Island (as of Oct 28th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases: 432 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 2 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE 1 COVID CASES SPIKING. The Governor announced today the COVID situation is “moving in the wrong direction.” It is likely she will announce new mandated restriction on Friday, October 30th.Small gatherings are seen as the main driver of the recent surge of infections. Mask wearing is strongly encouraged in any social setting, indoors or outdoors. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library will increase its service hours starting Monday, November 2. Hours will be Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. PORTSMOUTH AWARDED UP TO $51,000 IN “TAKE IT OUTSIDE” GRANTS. The “Take it Outside” initiative is a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.Individual Portsmouth businesses, non-profits and Town organizations will be able to submit requests for funding items that will enable them to open their business outdoors for the season until December. A Request for Proposals will be issued by the Town soon. For questions and other information contact the Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. For more information (and the RFP when issued) go to the Town web page (https://www.portsmouthri.com/1634/Take-it-Outside-Portsmouth) Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more state program information. STATE LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS. Full time employment as a State COVID case investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click here for more information. HALLOWEEN INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE: The Governor is asking everyone to cancel Halloween parties and has requested the State Police to increase their enforcement of COVID Guidelines. Trick-or-treating is permissible in small groups with face coverings but encouraged is to be completed before dark. Please consider:For safe Halloween-themed activities and additional guidance click here. The Town of Portsmouth's Recreation Department is hosting a drive-through event on Friday, October 30th from 4 to 6 PM. Click here to get the details! Portsmouth Police Department Trick-or-Treat Drive-by Event: click here. RIDE Halloween Contest. Safe and Spooky Halloween Contest PAGE 2 THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE. The Governor is urging everyone to “keep it local” this Thanksgiving holiday. It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local. If you must travel, please pay strict adherence to current COVID safety measures for fourteen days prior to the holiday to ensure you are not a virus spreader. Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safelyKeep gatherings small. Wear a mask before and after eating, and maintain social distance whenever possible. Wash hands frequently. Avoid shared utensils and buffet-style serving. If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. Limit the length of the gathering to just a few hours instead of all day. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through October 28, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. The original declaration can be found here. The extension order can be found here. STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally. Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:If you have symptoms:Stay home, and:Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms:If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV:Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through November. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) PAGE 3 PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. Operating Hours: Wednesday and, Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. PAGE 4 To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. RI PHASE 3 REOPENING. Planned gatherings of more than 15 people (e.g., Weddings, performances, etc.) require a COVID Control Plan. An easy-to-complete Event Template is available at www.reopeningri.com (scroll to the bottom of the page to “Additional Resources – Guidance for Events (Weddings, Performances, etc.)). A copy of this Event Template should be made available at the event. Please forward a copy of the Event Template to COVID@PortsmouthRI.com. View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for: Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services) PAGE 5Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 250 people Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches)Limits for indoor settingsIndoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval. PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports:No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted Details will be posted to ReopeningRI.com PAGE 6 USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. PAGE 7 RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com.Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines:The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available.Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. PAGE 8 NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:No-sew maskNo-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a maskhttps://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial PAGE 9 MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. PAGE 10 COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. PAGE 11 COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to:Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans. Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them. PAGE 12Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include:Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. PAGE 13 High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to:Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. PAGE 14 HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities.The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or Click here to donate. EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. PAGE15 VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months. HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ . AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. PAGE 16 UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include:All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. PAGE 17 Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. HOUSING HELP. Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. More information is available here. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 PAGE 18 COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. PAGE 19 WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. You can also find R.I. jobs available now at Skills for RI’s Future. ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. RI ARTIST RELIEF FUND. https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. PAGE 20 CHILD OR SENIOR CARE. Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here. Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) § Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE, October 20, 2020, 1625

2 months 3 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 10/21/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday (and every Wednesday thereafter) unless otherwise noted PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 40,997,453 Recovered: 27,975,096 Deaths: 1,127,637 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 8,294,695 Recovered: 3,295,426 Deaths: 221,460 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 28,649 Hospitalized: 135 Deaths: 1,164 Aquidneck Island (as of Oct 14th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases: 376 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: page 1 HALLOWEEN INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE: The Governor is asking everyone to cancel Halloween parties and has requested the State Police to increase their enforcement of COVID Guidelines. Trick-or-treating is permissible in small groups with face coverings but encouraged is to be completed before dark. Please consider:For safe Halloween-themed activities and additional guidance click here. The Town of Portsmouth's Recreation Department is hosting a drive-through event on Friday, October 30th from 4 to 6 PM. Click here to get the details! Portsmouth Police Department Trick-or-Treat Drive-by Event: click here. RIDE Halloween Contest. Safe and Spooky Halloween Contest VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER: The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud today announced they are working together on an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center will connect Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders will be able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot will launch in late November, with additional services available over the coming months. STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally. Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:If you have symptoms:Stay home, and:Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms:If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV:Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. PAGE 2 BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Text BESAFE to 44321 or Click here to donate. THANKSGIVING GUIDANCE. The Governor is urging everyone to “keep it local” this Thanksgiving holiday. It is in everyone’s best interest to stay local. If you must travel, please pay strict adherence to current COVID safety measures for fourteen days prior to the holiday to ensure you are not a virus spreader. Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safelyKeep gatherings small. Wear a mask before and after eating, and maintain social distance whenever possible. Wash hands frequently. Avoid shared utensils and buffet-style serving. If possible, keep windows open to allow for airflow. Limit the length of the gathering to just a few hours instead of all day. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through October 28, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. The original declaration can be found here. The extension order can be found here. NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities.The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. PAGE 3 RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. PORTSMOUTH BUSINESS ASSN AND TOWN “TAKE-IT-OUTSIDE” GRANTS. Proposals from the Town and the PBA are under review by CommerceRI to receive grants under the “Take it Outside” initiative - a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.Individual businesses are not eligible to submit a proposal but can work with the town and the PBA to supply what they need. Suggestions with approximate costs should be submitted to the PBA at PBAInfo@PortsmouthBiz.org or to the Portsmouth Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. If an award is granted, accurate cost estimates and other financial information will be required. Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more program information. PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through Oct. 28. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-79.pdf. (All Executive Orders are online at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. PAGE 4 RI IS BACK ON CT, NY, AND NJ TRAVEL ADVISORY LISTS. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey officials updated their travel advisories on Tuesday to add Rhode Island to the list of those they consider “high risk” for COVID-19. CONTINUE TO WEAR CLOTH MASKS IN PUBLIC. The Governor’s Executive Order requiring any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, has been extended to October 28th. FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. Operating Hours: Wednesday and, Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information. To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. PAGE 5 To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. To Make a Monetary Donation: Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is now open to the public. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but curbside service is also available for those who prefer it. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM to 6 PM. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. Patrons may borrow up to 6 items. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. PAGE 6 WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. RI PHASE 3 REOPENING. Planned gatherings of more than 15 people (e.g., Weddings, performances, etc.) require a COVID Control Plan. An easy-to-complete Event Template is available at www.reopeningri.com (scroll to the bottom of the page to “Additional Resources – Guidance for Events (Weddings, Performances, etc.)). A copy of this Event Template should be made available at the event. Please forward a copy of the Event Template to COVID@PortsmouthRI.com. View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for: Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 250 people Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches)Limits for indoor settingsIndoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval. PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports:No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect PAGE 7 Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted Details will be posted to ReopeningRI.com USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 8 PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com.Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines:The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available.Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. PAGE 9 CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: PAGE 10No-sew maskNo-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a maskhttps://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. PAGE 11 RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to:Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans. Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. PAGE 12 More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them.Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. PAGE 13 RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include:Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: PAGE 14Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. PAGE 15 SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ . AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. PAGE 16 CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include:All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. PAGE 17 This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. HOUSING HELP. Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. More information is available here. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 PAGE 18 COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. PAGE 19 WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. You can also find R.I. jobs available now at Skills for RI’s Future. ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. RI ARTIST RELIEF FUND. https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. CHILD OR SENIOR CARE. Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here. Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. PAGE 20 HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) § Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE October 14, 2020, 1550

3 months ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 10/14/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday (and every Wednesday thereafter) unless otherwise noted PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 38,317,777 Recovered: 26,532,954 Deaths: 1,088,704 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 7,878,278 Recovered: 3,124,593 Deaths: 216,278 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 27,164 Hospitalized: 131 Deaths: 1,147 Aquidneck Island (as of Oct 14th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases: 376 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 PAGE 1 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: INCREASED COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED. New restrictions will be announced this week due to a spike in new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to the virus. The regulations will be announced on Thursday at a 1:00 p.m. press conference. STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally. Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:If you have symptoms:Stay home, and:Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms:If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV:Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. Rhode Island Commerce will be holding an information session on these changes on Tuesday, October 20 at 10:30 AM. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. PAGE 2 PORTSMOUTH BUSINESS ASSN AND TOWN “TAKE-IT-OUTSIDE” GRANTS. Proposals from the Town and the PBA are under review by CommerceRI to receive grants under the “Take it Outside” initiative - a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.Individual businesses are not eligible to submit a proposal but can work with the town and the PBA to supply what they need. Suggestions with approximate costs should be submitted to the PBA at PBAInfo@PortsmouthBiz.org or to the Portsmouth Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. If an award is granted, accurate cost estimates and other financial information will be required. Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more program information. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through October 28, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. The original declaration can be found here. The extension order can be found here. PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through Oct. 28. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-79.pdf. (All Executive Orders are online at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. RI IS BACK ON CT, NY, AND NJ TRAVEL ADVISORY LISTS. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey officials updated their travel advisories on Tuesday to add Rhode Island to the list of those they consider “high risk” for COVID-19. CONTINUE TO WEAR CLOTH MASKS IN PUBLIC. The Governor’s Executive Order requiring any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, has been extended to October 28th. FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. PAGE 3 CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. The Food Bank is now located at St. Johns Lodge No. 1 of the Freemasons at 81 Sprague Street. It is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Wednesdays and Fridays for food distribution and to accept donations. Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call 401-643-0323 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com). Leave a message if you have a question or a special request, need other assistance or if someone other than yourself needs to pick up food. The Food Bank will return your call within 24 hours. To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. PAGE 4 Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. They will be selectively distributed and not included in Food Bank packages. To Make a Monetary Donation: Write a Check - Make checks payable to the “Town of Portsmouth”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to Portsmouth Community Food Bank, Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI 02871. For more information regarding the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town website at www.portsmouthri.com, or contact Rich Talipsky at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-643-0382 or emailing RTalipsky@Portsmouthri.com. OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is now open to the public. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but curbside service is also available for those who prefer it. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM to 6 PM. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. PAGE 5You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. Patrons may borrow up to 6 items. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. RI PHASE 3 REOPENING. View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for:Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 250 people Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches)Limits for indoor settingsIndoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval. PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports:No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect PAGE 6 Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted Details will be posted to ReopeningRI.com USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PAGE 7 PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com.Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines:The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available.Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. PAGE 8 CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks: PAGE 9No-sew maskNo-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a maskhttps://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. PAGE 10 RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to:Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans. Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. PAGE 11 More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them.Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. PAGE 12 RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include:Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to: PAGE 13Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. PAGE 14 SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ . AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities.The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. PAGE 15 BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include:All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords: PAGE 16Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. HOUSING HELP. Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. More information is available here. PAGE 17 VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. PAGE 18 SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. You can also find R.I. jobs available now at Skills for RI’s Future. ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. PAGE 19 PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. RI ARTIST RELIEF FUND. https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Click here to donate. CHILD OR SENIOR CARE. Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here. Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. PAGE 20 Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) § Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE October 7, 2020, 1615

3 months 1 week ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 10/07/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday (and every Wednesday thereafter) unless otherwise noted PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 35,970,265 Recovered: 25,031,149 Deaths: 1,052,105 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 7,525,255 Recovered: 2,952,390 Deaths: 211,405 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 25,776 Hospitalized: 107 Deaths: 1,126 Aquidneck Island (as of Oct 7th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases: 361 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 1 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: Page 1 RI SCHOOL DISTRICTS NEED SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS. If you are a retired teacher, you are urged to consider returning to work as a substitute teacher. Please contact your local school administration for more information. INFOSYS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO HIRE 500 MORE TECH EMPLOYEES IN RHODE. Infosys is a technology company and has announced plans to hire 500 additional tech workers in RI by 2023. Contact PR_Global@infosys.com for more information. HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. Apply for relief here: https://diiri.org/2020/08/06/wer1/ . HALLOWEEN GUIDANCE. RI DOH has published guidance for Halloween. PORTSMOUTH BUSINESS ASSN AND TOWN CONSIDERING “TAKE-IT-OUTSIDE” GRANTS. CommerceRI is again seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, municipalities, merchant associations, downtown improvement districts, tourism regions, arts/cultural institutions, to receive grants under the “Take it Outside” initiative - a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.Individual businesses are not eligible to submit a proposal but can work with the town and the PBA to supply what they need. Suggestions with approximate costs should be submitted to the PBA at PBAInfo@PortsmouthBiz.org or to the Portsmouth Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. Accurate cost estimates and other financial information will be required for the final submission. Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more program information. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through October 28, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. The original declaration can be found here. The extension order can be found here. PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through Oct. 28. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-79.pdf. (All Executive Orders are online at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) PAGE 2 PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. RI IS BACK ON CT, NY, AND NJ TRAVEL ADVISORY LISTS. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey officials updated their travel advisories on Tuesday to add Rhode Island to the list of those they consider “high risk” for COVID-19. CONTINUE TO WEAR CLOTH MASKS IN PUBLIC. The Governor’s Executive Order requiring any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, has been extended to October 28th. FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. COVID TESTING. Here is updated guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:If you have symptoms:Stay home, and:Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms:If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV:Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. Page 3 The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. The Food Bank is now located at St. Johns Lodge No. 1 of the Freemasons at 81 Sprague Street. It is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Wednesdays and Fridays for food distribution and to accept donations. Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call 401-643-0323 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com). Leave a message if you have a question or a special request, need other assistance or if someone other than yourself needs to pick up food. The Food Bank will return your call within 24 hours. To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. They will be selectively distributed and not included in Food Bank packages. To Make a Monetary Donation: Write a Check - Make checks payable to the “Town of Portsmouth”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to Portsmouth Community Food Bank, Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI 02871. For more information regarding the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town website at www.portsmouthri.com, or contact Rich Talipsky at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-643-0382 or emailing RTalipsky@Portsmouthri.com. PAGE 4 OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is now open to the public. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but curbside service is also available for those who prefer it. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM to 6 PM. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. Patrons may borrow up to 6 items. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. RI PHASE 3 REOPENING. View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for:Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services) PAGE 5Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 250 people Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches)Limits for indoor settingsIndoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval. PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports:No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted Details will be posted to ReopeningRI.com PAGE 6 USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI GOVERNMENT SPENDING. RI will expand reporting of COVID Spending on the RI Open Government Transparency Portal. The portal can be found here. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. PAGE 7 Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com.Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines:The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available.Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PAGE 8 PORTSMOUTH OUTDOOR DINING. The Town of Portsmouth has developed an application process for allowing temporary outdoor dining, for those food establishments currently licensed by the Town, that will continue through October 15, 2020. The specific guidelines and application process have been issued in an Executive Order signed on May 14 by the President of the Town Council. Restaurants may apply for the temporary expansion of their food service areas to permit the service and consumption of food in outdoor portions of the licensed. Restaurants with a current liquor license may also apply for temporary expansion of their liquor services area. Applications for food service expansion may be administratively approved by the Town Clerk. Liquor Expansion Applications must be approved by the Town Council pursuant to RIGL § 3-5-17. Applications may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s office via email at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com, by calling 401-683-2101, or downloaded from the Town Web site by clicking here and may be filed via email. All applicable filing and inspection fees associated (except tent permits) with such applications shall be waived. For those establishments with current liquor licenses, applications will require Town Council approval. Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at 401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. PAGE 9 RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:No-sew maskNo-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a maskhttps://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. PAGE 10 ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally.Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION PAGE 11 RESTORE RI GRANTS. More Businesses are now eligible to apply. Commerce RI is accepting grant applications through the Restore RI Grant Program. Grants will be available for up to $15,000 for eligible Rhode Island businesses impacted by COVID-19. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to:Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans. Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. PAGE 12 BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them.Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include:Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. PAGE 13 All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to:Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically. PAGE 14 COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. PAGE 15 NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities.The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include:All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. PAGE 16 All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. PAGE 17 SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. HOUSING HELP. Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. More information is available here. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. PAGE 18 NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. PAGE 19 SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. You can also find R.I. jobs available now at Skills for RI’s Future. ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. RI ARTIST RELIEF FUND. https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. PAGE 20 BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Click here to donate. CHILD OR SENIOR CARE. Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here. Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 21

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE September 30, 2020, 1550

3 months 2 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 9/30/2020 Next update will be issued Wednesday (and every Wednesday thereafter) unless otherwise noted PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE Phone: (401) 643-0350 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 33,743,035 Recovered: 23,441,266 Deaths: 1,009,593 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 7,199,139 Recovered: 2,813,305 Deaths: 206,351 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 24,748 Hospitalized: 103 Deaths: 1,114 Aquidneck Island (as of Sept 30th) (RI Department of Health) Cumulative Cases: 352 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PAGE 1 PHASE III OF RI REOPENING PLAN. The Governor has extended the Phase III reopening plan for one more month, through Oct. 28. A copy of the Executive Order is available at https://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-79.pdf. (All Executive Orders are online at https://governor.ri.gov/newsroom/orders/.) HALLOWEEN GUIDANCE. RI DOH has published guidance for Halloween. DECOMMISSIONING OF TWO ALTERNATE HOSPITAL SITES. The RI DOH will deconstruct two of the three surge hospitals which were set up last spring to take in COVID infected patients in the event an explosion of cases overwhelmed the state’s hospitals. OUTDOOR DINING TABLE SPACING. The minimum spacing between tables at outdoor dining has been reduced from eight feet of distance separation to six feet. PORTSMOUTH BUSINESS ASSN AND TOWN CONSIDERING “TAKE-IT-OUTSIDE” GRANTS. CommerceRI is again seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, municipalities, merchant associations, downtown improvement districts, tourism regions, arts/cultural institutions, to receive grants under the “Take it Outside” initiative - a statewide effort designed to encourage and increase outdoor activities for all Rhode Islanders in an effort to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.Individual businesses are not eligible to submit a proposal but can work with the town and the PBA to supply what they need. Suggestions with approximate costs should be submitted to the PBA at PBAInfo@PortsmouthBiz.org or to the Portsmouth Director of Business Development (Rich Talipsky, rtalipsky@PortsmouthRI.com, 643-0382) as soon as possible. Accurate cost estimates and other financial information will be required for the final submission. Go to https://reopeningri.com/take-it-outside for more program information. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through October 28, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. The original declaration can be found here. The extension order can be found here. PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down. Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick. Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick. Page 2 RI IS BACK ON CT, NY, AND NJ TRAVEL ADVISORY LISTS. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey officials updated their travel advisories on Tuesday to add Rhode Island to the list of those they consider “high risk” for COVID-19. CONTINUE TO WEAR CLOTH MASKS IN PUBLIC. The Governor’s Executive Order requiring any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, has been extended to October 28th. FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously. COVID TESTING. Here is updated guidance for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:If you have symptoms:Stay home, and:Call your primary provider; or Call a community health clinic or respiratory clinic If you do not have symptoms:If you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at PORTAL.RI.GOV:Close-contact worker 18-39 years old Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate Recently attended a large protest or demonstration If you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022 CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter. If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.CRUSH COVID RI APP. The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household. It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled. The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data. THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. The Food Bank is now located at St. Johns Lodge No. 1 of the Freemasons at 81 Sprague Street. It is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Wednesdays and Fridays for food distribution and to accept donations. Page 3 Operating Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food. People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs. Contact the Emergency Food Bank: Call 401-643-0323 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com). Leave a message if you have a question or a special request, need other assistance or if someone other than yourself needs to pick up food. The Food Bank will return your call within 24 hours. To Get Food: Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements. We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents. To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle. Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply. They will be selectively distributed and not included in Food Bank packages. To Make a Monetary Donation: Write a Check - Make checks payable to the “Town of Portsmouth”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to Portsmouth Community Food Bank, Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI 02871. For more information regarding the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town website at www.portsmouthri.com, or contact Rich Talipsky at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-643-0382 or emailing RTalipsky@Portsmouthri.com. OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. Page 4Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test. If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form. As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link. THERE IS STILL A 15-PERSON LIMIT FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 per person. Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less; All social distancing and mask wearing guidelines must be adhered to. Repeat violations will incur $500 fines. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is now open to the public. Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes. Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained. 7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis. Browsing is allowed but curbside service is also available for those who prefer it. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM to 6 PM. For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. You can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com. Patrons may borrow up to 6 items. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org. WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. RI PHASE 3 REOPENING. View the latest reopening guidelines and restrictions found in the Phase III guidelines for:Social Gatherings (weddings, parties, networking events, catered events)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 15 people Limits for outdoor settingsLimit of 50 people (100 with licensed catering) Public events and venues of assembly (festivals, religious services)Limits for indoor settingsLimit of 125 people Up to 66% capacity with 6 foot spacing Limits for outdoor settings Page 5Limit of 250 people Plans required above 250 people Masks must be worn Social distancing required Places of public interaction (Retail, restaurants, gyms, museums, theaters, entertainment venues, houses of worship, close-contact business, office-based businesses, parks, beaches)Limits for indoor settingsIndoor venues operating at a percent capacity or newly opening can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing. Indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. Large venues of assembly such as concert halls and auditoriums that wish to have more than 250 people must submit a plan. Seated venues can open at 66% capacity Free flowing venues can open at 1 person per 100 square feet Limits for outdoor settings6-foot distancing must be maintained. Large outdoor venues may be required to submit a plan for approval. PHASE III GUIDELINES FOR SPORTS. The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult sports:No-contact and low-contact sports like baseball, softball, tennis and golf will be able to play games in stable groups with no limit on overall group size (a stable group means keeping the same players and coaches together over the course of the summer.) Games can be played against teams out-of-state if that state doesn’t have a stay-at-home order in effect Spectators will be allowed at games but limited to two per player to keep crowds down, and they’ll be required to wear masks Players will also be encouraged to wear masks when practical, and keep their distance otherwise Games for close-contact sports like basketball, football and soccer will still be discouraged, but practices, drills and scrimmages are permitted Details will be posted to ReopeningRI.com USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS. When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine to all people in town. The POD is partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs, RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any medical certifications or training. The advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for your volunteer assignment. There is no required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve when called. If you are interested in being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky (401-643-0382, rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com). Page 6 DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services. Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses. o You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time. The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours. o The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes. If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. TOWN HALL. To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone. In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department. Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth Playgrounds are open. Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis. Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet. Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment. Stay home if you feel sick. Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present. Wear face masks as appropriate. RI GOVERNMENT SPENDING. RI will expand reporting of COVID Spending on the RI Open Government Transparency Portal. The portal can be found here. RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions. PAGE 7 Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new hospitalizations daily hospitalizations daily Rate of Spread R Value = 1.1 or lower R Value = 1.3-1.5 or higher Doubling Rate of Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations doubling Hospitalizations 30 days or more every 20 days or less Note: R Value is the rate at which the disease is spreading from one infected person to another. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE. Click on the link for specific guidance which is also found at reopeningri.com.Adult Sports. Pools. Office Environments. Farmers Markets. Funeral Homes. Realtors. Outdoor Recreational Businesses and Historical/Cultural Sites. Restaurants and Entertainment. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following guidelines:The park is limited to 15 total people (family members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time (family members included) in the small dog area. One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate areas at a time. All people visiting the park should wear a personal mask and maintain social distancing. There will be no water bowls or dog toys available.Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT bring your own toys. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH OUTDOOR DINING. The Town of Portsmouth has developed an application process for allowing temporary outdoor dining, for those food establishments currently licensed by the Town, that will continue through October 15, 2020. The specific guidelines and application process have been issued in an Executive Order signed on May 14 by the President of the Town Council. Restaurants may apply for the temporary expansion of their food service areas to permit the service and consumption of food in outdoor portions of the licensed. Restaurants with a current liquor license may also apply for temporary expansion of their liquor services area. PAGE 8 Applications for food service expansion may be administratively approved by the Town Clerk. Liquor Expansion Applications must be approved by the Town Council pursuant to RIGL § 3-5-17. Applications may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s office via email at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com, by calling 401-683-2101, or downloaded from the Town Web site by clicking here and may be filed via email. All applicable filing and inspection fees associated (except tent permits) with such applications shall be waived. For those establishments with current liquor licenses, applications will require Town Council approval. Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at 401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS. Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the RI Department of Health. Specifically, patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%. NEW REAL ID DEADLINE. The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back. The new deadline is October 1, 2021. UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. PERSONAL PROTECTION THERE IS A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth's lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers. Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0350 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers. PAGE 9 RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf). This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus. It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it. It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer. CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here. Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:No-sew maskNo-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie · Make-a-mask no-sew mask https://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Sew a maskhttps://happydiyhome.com/diy-face-mask/ Pattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK. For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly. This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use: Mask Wearing 101. COVID-19 TESTING TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through portal.ri.gov. You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online scheduling system. PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814. All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday). Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case. SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders. First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841. PAGE 10 ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET COVID TEST. If you work in public transit or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym, hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s recently attended a large rally.Call (401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. ASYMPTOMATIC SURVEILLANCE TESTING. The State will expand asymptomatic surveillance testing to include employees of childcare centers and close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, and gyms. Those people, even if they don’t feel sick, are encouraged to visit portal.ri.gov and schedule an appointment to get tested at one of the National Guard sites. You can also call (401) 222-8022 to schedule an appointment. The tests are free. RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar. RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App. NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.Nursing home workers can be tested at the site without an appointment. COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested. Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES: MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here This service is only available if no other transportation options are available. BUSINESS INFORMATION PAGE 11 RESTORE RI GRANTS. More Businesses are now eligible to apply. Commerce RI is accepting grant applications through the Restore RI Grant Program. Grants will be available for up to $15,000 for eligible Rhode Island businesses impacted by COVID-19. If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply: Are you a small, for-profit business in Rhode Island? Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply. Is your business in an eligible industry? A list of eligible industries can be found here. Did your business experience a major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a 30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of 2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020) due to COVID-19. To help you apply, please see a checklist here. Click here to apply for the Restore RI Grant Program. Businesses that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More information may be found here. BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website. EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan. COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact. The purpose is to:Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact. Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines. Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening. Review outbreak response plans. Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk. Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans. More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805. ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM. The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. PAGE 12 BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. USDA CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM (CFAP) FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. The CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program will provide critical direct support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to have access to the food they need. Go to https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for more info or to apply. MASKS AND SUPPLIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. Governor Raimondo has announced a collaboration with chambers of commerce and other associations to distribute 500,000 masks and much-needed disinfectant solution to our small businesses that are open or reopening and still need help accessing them.Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are open or are reopening — including retailers, grocery stores, manufacturers, restaurants and service-based businesses — can access a month’s supply of product. In exchange for these supplies, businesses are asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19 control plan. More information can be found here. RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for non-compliance can be found here. These steps include:Every covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to COVID-19. Each covered entity (other than an individual who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall implement and ensure compliance with screening of all individuals entering its establishment(s). Each covered entity shall instruct any person entering an establishment to wear cloth face coverings except when social distancing from others in the establishment is easily, continuously, and measurably maintained. PAGE 13 All covered entities shall ensure the placement of posters or signs at entry to its establishments educating any individual at the establishment concerning entry screening, required social distancing, use of cloth face coverings. All covered entities shall ensure that their establishments have their restrooms open. All covered entities shall ensure the performance of environmental cleaning of their establishments once per day. All covered entities shall maintain records documenting the date, time, location and procedures for the cleaning activities. MARINA, YACHT CLUB AND HARBOR MASTER GUIDANCE. Due to Covid-19 and the Governor’s Executive Order, RI DEM and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council is providing guidance for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs and harbor masters. This will allow for business operations, provide safety measures for staff and ensure as much as possible to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus. In addition to the guidance found at the CRMC web site:Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps. Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators. The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all times. High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.Ensure that the facility is always supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use. Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to:Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc. Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed. Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens. Sales from a marina retail store are allowed but must be done by curbside pickup only. Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses. All transactions should be done electronically. PAGE 14 COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across Rhode Island: Has the rate of spread of disease continued to decrease? Do we have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Do we have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations and those in quarantine? Does our health care system have capacity and proper PPE equipment to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, childcare facilities, churches, faith groups, and others, have plans for social distancing for the next year? Is Rhode Island in a place where we can re-close parts of the economy if necessary? RI will follow federal guidance that would require 14 straight days of decreasing positive case numbers in order to consider reopening businesses. Reopening the economy will be incremental, and not all at once, and there will likely be new restrictions and precautions businesses must follow when they can reopen. HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP. EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES. The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. ·More information can be found by clicking here. SOCIAL WELFARE AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of Health website. PAGE 15 NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting residents with jobs and training opportunities.The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training program. Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to Work RI Jobcase page here. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-19 which addresses the UI system. It lifts restriction on the amount of time that certain DLT retirees may return to the workforce without penalty. The charges to employers' accounts under Rhode Island General Laws § 28-43-3(2)(ii) since January 27, 2020 for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19 are suspended. BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI. More information can be found at www.dlt.ri.gov/backtoworkri[r20.rs6.net]. UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe. More information is available here. CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS. There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations. All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date. There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage. More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health. SCHOOL BEGAN SEPTEMBER 14TH. There is now a unified calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Highlights of the statewide 2020-21 school year calendar include:All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Winter vacation from February 15 through 19, 2021. PAGE 16 All Rhode Island students and teachers will have a Spring vacation from April 19 through 23, 2021. The following days will be statewide professional development days: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, January 25, March 15, April 12, and May 17. Those days will be distance learning days for students. Snow days will still be determined at the district level, and school will be held via distance learning. School systems may choose to add instructional days to their calendar beyond the 180-day required statewide calendar. While RIDE encourages private schools to follow the statewide calendar, those decisions will be made at the school level. 2020-21 School Calendar (PDF) 2020-21 School Calendar Overview (Video) EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the traditional court process. Find out more here. HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS MOST IN NEED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rhode Island has launched a special philanthropic fund to provide $400 debit cards to Rhode Island families that are not able to receive public benefits due to their immigration status. Donations may be made to the weR1 Rhode Island fund by texting weR1 to 27126. You may also donate online at https://wer1.cheerfulgiving.com/p/give-now. HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN. The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord. The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters. Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit. Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs. First and last month’s rent. Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover. Assistance in bringing units to code. Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues. This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times. Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today. PAGE 17 SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP). Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online. Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address. SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95. To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here. To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here. WORKSHARE PROGRAM. State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program. This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours. The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million. The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic. HOUSING HELP. Housing Help RI is a statewide homelessness prevention initiative to assist Rhode Islanders who are experiencing housing insecurity. The program provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. More information is available here. VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time. COVID CONCERNS. If you are seeking help or answers to questions not addressed here, please contact the Statewide Human Services Call Center at 401.462.4444. or 2.1.1 COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You can find it here. DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office. Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list. PAGES 18 NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS. Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19 or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.) STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/. HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30% decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety. SAFE AT HOME. People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence. The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer. WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour. PAGE 19 EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:401-414-LINK (5465) For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here. SCAM WARNING. The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments. There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/. EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. You can also find R.I. jobs available now at Skills for RI’s Future. ARTS. RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state. RI DELIVERS. RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason. Please click here for more information. If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444. PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS. Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation. Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106. If no answer call 401-297-6102. RI ARTIST RELIEF FUND. https://risca.online/grants/artistrelieffund/ CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. PAGE 20 BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. “Be Safe” is a community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing curbside delivery of these kits across the state. Click here to donate. CHILD OR SENIOR CARE. Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here. Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island. HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation. Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com. The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:Town Website: www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information. Notify Me®: Sign up for automatic e-mail updates. On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic. Facebook: Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency). Twitter: Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets. Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379. Leave a message and your call will be returned. Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help. Town Webpages:https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx PAGE 21 https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight § https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat (and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page) § Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog PAGE 22
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Town Clerk Limited Service

2 weeks 4 days ago
On Wednesday, December 30 and Thursday, December 31 there will be limited staffing in the Town Clerk's Office. Please call 401-683-2101 for any questions.

Rhode Island on Pause

1 month 2 weeks ago
Beginning November 30th, Rhode Island will be hitting Pause for two weeks.

Job Opportunity - Snow Plow Operators

2 months 1 week ago
The Town of Portsmouth is currently seeking individuals to work on-call as needed, operating Town vehicles to assist the Public Works Department with snow removal.
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STATE OF RHODE ISLAND EXPECTING SIGNIFICANT STORM WITH DAMAGING WINDS

3 weeks 2 days ago
External Affairs Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Press Release Contact: Kristina Murray (401) 536-5248 Cell www.riema.ri.gov STATE OF RHODE ISLAND EXPECTING SIGNIFICANT STORM WITH DAMAGING WINDS For Use: Immediately Date: 12/23/2020 Re: Forecast

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND EXPECTING SIGNIFICANT SNOWSTORM

4 weeks 2 days ago
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is preparing for a significant snowstorm expected to impact the state starting late Wednesday into Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Providence and Kent Counties beginning Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00pm to 1pm December...
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