Status message

COVID-19 Updates: Read more

Local News

PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD
PIVFD

Portsmouth Alerts

COVID-19 Information

2 months 1 week ago
Click on the link to read the daily Situation Report by Town Administrator Richard Rainer. This page is filled with helpful links.

COVID-19 Info Alert Updated on 2020-03-17

2 months 2 weeks ago
As the concern around the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows & the situation evolves, your Town of Portsmouth government wants to assure you of our continuous contact with state, national, & local agencies that keep us up-to-date on the situation. Update: Web page has been added with detailed information specific to Portsmouth. Please click on the link.
Checked
24 minutes 47 seconds ago
Portsmouth, RI - Get the latest alerts
Subscribe to Portsmouth Alerts feed

Portsmouth Blog

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE June 4, 2020 1845

3 hours 46 minutes ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 6/4/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 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: 6,581,066 o Recovered: 2,844,451 o Deaths: 388,118 • USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Cases: 1,864,538 o Recovered: 479,258 o Deaths: 107,765 • Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) o Cases: 15,325 o Hospitalized: 185 o Deaths: 756 • Aquidneck Island (as of May 29th) (RI Department of Health) o Cases: 140 o Deaths Not Available • Staff o Active Cases: 0 o Recovered: 2 o Quarantined: 0 o 72 Hour wait: 0 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: • EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS. The Governor has extended the Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19 until July 4th. The Portsmouth Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for the same reason has been extended accordingly to July 4th. • CONTINUE TO WEAR CLOTH FACE COVERINGS 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 July 4th. PLEASE NOTE: • PORTSMOUTH ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTION. Portsmouth’s Electronic Waste Collection Event is slated for June 13 at Portsmouth High School 120 Education Lane from 9 am to 12 noon. To minimize social contact, the collection provider (Indie Cycle) has requested residents have their electronic waste ready for unloading and that they remain in their vehicles as much as possible. o This electronics collection is available to any Rhode Island resident and appointments are not required. o Items accepted at NO charge include televisions, computers, laptops, monitors, routers, computer parts, cell phones and other hand-held devices, mice, keyboards, ink-jet printers, toner cartridges, CD/DVD players, radios, network equipment, wires, stereos, plastic speakers, telephones, cameras, microwaves, small household appliances, and acid lead batteries including auto/marine/laptop with battery back-ups. o There is a $10 disposal fee for each laser printer, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and other coolant-containing devices and wood-cased speakers ($5 for small speakers). o Not accepted: light bulbs, single use batteries, tapes/disks, glass, cardboard, Styrofoam, broken TV tubes, any other type of non-electronic recyclables or any hazardous materials. o For information contact Ray Antaya, 401-643- 0359 orrantaya@portsmouthri.com. More information is available here. • ADDITIONAL PHASE II 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. • PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only ? Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. ? To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. o Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. o There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. o The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. o Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point o Resident Beach pass parking only. o Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. o There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. o William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches o In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. • PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. • SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com): o Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. o Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks. ? Campers will be encouraged to do so. o Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. o For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. • EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD.The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. • HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events. o Hurricane season officially started June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. o The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. o If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. • MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. o To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 o Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com • 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY. In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. o RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 • 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. • EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can befound here. • FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gymsare permitted to open. Guidelinesinclude keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn.Click here for more information. • 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. • RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that religious services can resume under Phase II guidelines. Religious facilities are limited to 25% capacity. More guidance is available by clicking here. • CHILD CARE.The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is offering access to the computers by appointment. This limited access will only be for the computers; the other areas of the library will still be off limits. This service is intended to provide patrons with access to library computers. Computer instruction is not available at this time. o Appointments will be made in 30-minute blocks of time. Please call the library at 683-9457 option 3 or email porlibref@gmail.comto make your reservation. The Library is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM but is still closed to the public during Phase II of Reopening RI. o For user's safety, keyboards and mice will be swapped out and counters and chairs wiped with spray sanitizer after each appointment. Hand sanitizer is available for public use. Face masks must be worn at all times in compliance with recommended safety protocol. o 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. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. o WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. o Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. • 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. o 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. o 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. o 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. o For those establishments with current liquor licenses, applications will require Town Council approval. o Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at 401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. • STATE BEACHES.East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches are open with “very reduced parking.” There are no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets are available). The reduced-capacity parking is free. • STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: o Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* o Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth o Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* o Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown o Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) o Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* o Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence o John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown o J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston o Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth o Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) o Meshanticut State Park, Cranston o Pulaski State Park, Glocester* o Purgatory Chasm, Middletown o Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. o All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. o Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than fifteen people, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 15 people are not allowed and 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 stay at home order. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas. ? Bocce at Sr Center: Open ? Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open ? Dog Park: Open ? Elmhurst Park: Open ? Founders Brook: Open ? Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open ? Glen Park: Open ? Heritage Park: Open ? Legion Park: Open ? McCorrie Point: Open ? Melville Recreation Area: Open ? Mount Hope Park: Open ? Oakland Forest: Open ? Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open ? Sandy Point Beach: Open ? Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open o As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. o The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through July 4, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. ? In person service is by appointment only. • LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. • NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. • 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. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. • DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. • GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00-10:30am. • 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. o SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon o ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School servicefrom 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. o SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. o Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. • FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. PERSONAL PROTECTION • 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 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 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. • REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE.Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. • 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 401-643-0379 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. • FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING • 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 • 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: ? 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. • RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION • RHODE ISLAND STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS. RISCA has announced the availability of COVID-19 emergency funding for small and medium sized arts organizations through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The deadline to apply is June 19th. For more information, click here. • 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. • 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. • AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community. o Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. • 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. 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. • GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender.If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. o The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. o If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. o Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY.SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/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? 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 will start 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 • 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. • GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans: o Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. o Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. o Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. o No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. o Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. • 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 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. • REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. • COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details • 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. • INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended. o Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. o The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. • RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. • ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses. o FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS o FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response o FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System o (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) • 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: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o 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. 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 Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. • EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: o RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. o EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. o 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. • FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. • DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine. o The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. • 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. • FOOD BANK DONATIONS.THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. • FOOD BANK.The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. o TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30am–2:00pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comand leave a message if you need more information about donating food.Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot). ? Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. o TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK.Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10am and 2pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comand a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. o WANT TO VOLUNTEER?If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comwith the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. o WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY? ? Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or ? Visit the Donation linkstbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.organd click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or ? 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. o FOR MORE INFORMATION regarding the Portsmouth Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. • 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/ • HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. • SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. o The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1.RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch.The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. • 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. 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.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 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. • RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? • Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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 Issues Eighth Supplemental Emergency Declaration

6 hours 25 minutes ago
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-9 June 4, 2020 EIGHTH SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION This is an Emergency Declaration supplement to the Portsmouth Executive Order 2020-1 issued March 16, 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 July 4th, 2020. ORDERED this 4th day of June 2020. Kevin M. Aguiar Town Council President Town of Portsmouth, RI

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE June 3, 2020 1717

1 day 5 hours ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 6/3/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 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: 6,445,457 Recovered: 2,764,915 Deaths: 382,451 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,841,629 Recovered: 463,868 Deaths: 106,696 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 15,219 Hospitalized: 189 Deaths: 742 Aquidneck Island (as of May 29th) (RI Department of Health) Cases: 140 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · RHODE ISLAND STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS. RISCA has announced the availability of COVID-19 emergency funding for small and medium sized arts organizations through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The deadline to apply is June 19th. For more information, click 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. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTION. Portsmouth’s Electronic Waste Collection Event is slated for June 13 at Portsmouth High School 120 Education Lane from 9 am to 12 noon. To minimize social contact, the collection provider (Indie Cycle) has requested residents have their electronic waste ready for unloading and that they remain in their vehicles as much as possible.This electronics collection is available to any Rhode Island resident and appointments are not required. Items accepted at NO charge include televisions, computers, laptops, monitors, routers, computer parts, cell phones and other hand-held devices, mice, keyboards, ink-jet printers, toner cartridges, CD/DVD players, radios, network equipment, wires, stereos, plastic speakers, telephones, cameras, microwaves, small household appliances, and acid lead batteries including auto/marine/laptop with battery back-ups. There is a $10 disposal fee for each laser printer, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and other coolant-containing devices and wood-cased speakers ($5 for small speakers). Not accepted: light bulbs, single use batteries, tapes/disks, glass, cardboard, Styrofoam, broken TV tubes, any other type of non-electronic recyclables or any hazardous materials. For information contact Ray Antaya, 401-643- 0359 or rantaya@portsmouthri.com. More information is available here. ADDITIONAL PHASE II 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. PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com ):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially started June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gyms are permitted to open. Guidelines include keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn. Click here for more information. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that religious services can resume under Phase II guidelines. Religious facilities are limited to 25% capacity. More guidance is available by clicking here. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is offering access to the computers by appointment. This limited access will only be for the computers; the other areas of the library will still be off limits. This service is intended to provide patrons with access to library computers. Computer instruction is not available at this time.Appointments will be made in 30-minute blocks of time. Please call the library at 683-9457 option 3 or email porlibref@gmail.com to make your reservation. The Library is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM but is still closed to the public during Phase II of Reopening RI. For user's safety, keyboards and mice will be swapped out and counters and chairs wiped with spray sanitizer after each appointment. Hand sanitizer is available for public use. Face masks must be worn at all times in compliance with recommended safety protocol. 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. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches are open with “very reduced parking.” There are no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets are available). The reduced-capacity parking is free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than fifteen people, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 15 people are not allowed and 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 stay at home order. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Open Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. 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. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. PERSONAL PROTECTION 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 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. 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. REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. 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. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE June 2, 2020 1526

2 days 7 hours ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 6/2/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 6,325,303 Recovered: 2,727,679 Deaths: 377,460 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,820,523 Recovered: 458,231 Deaths: 105,644 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 15,112 Hospitalized: 188 Deaths: 732 Aquidneck Island (as of May 29th) (RI Department of Health) Cases: 140 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · PORTSMOUTH ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTION. Portsmouth’s Electronic Waste Collection Event is slated for June 13 at Portsmouth High School 120 Education Lane from 9 am to 12 noon. To minimize social contact, the collection provider (Indie Cycle) has requested residents have their electronic waste ready for unloading and that they remain in their vehicles as much as possible. This electronics collection is available to any Rhode Island resident and appointments are not required. Items accepted at NO charge include televisions, computers, laptops, monitors, routers, computer parts, cell phones and other hand-held devices, mice, keyboards, ink-jet printers, toner cartridges, CD/DVD players, radios, network equipment, wires, stereos, plastic speakers, telephones, cameras, microwaves, small household appliances, and acid lead batteries including auto/marine/laptop with battery back-ups. There is a $10 disposal fee for each laser printer, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and other coolant-containing devices and wood-cased speakers ($5 for small speakers). Not accepted: light bulbs, single use batteries, tapes/disks, glass, cardboard, Styrofoam, broken TV tubes, any other type of non-electronic recyclables or any hazardous materials. For information contact Ray Antaya, 401-643- 0359 or rantaya@portsmouthri.com. More information is available here. ADDITIONAL PHASE II 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. PLEASE NOTE: 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. PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com ):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially started June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gyms are permitted to open. Guidelines include keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn. Click here for more information. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that religious services can resume under Phase II guidelines. Religious facilities are limited to 25% capacity. More guidance is available by clicking here. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are permitted to reopen. Guidance is available by clicking here. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Portsmouth Free Public Library is offering access to the computers by appointment. This limited access will only be for the computers; the other areas of the library will still be off limits. This service is intended to provide patrons with access to library computers. Computer instruction is not available at this time.Appointments will be made in 30-minute blocks of time. Please call the library at 683-9457 option 3 or email porlibref@gmail.com to make your reservation. The Library is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM but is still closed to the public during Phase II of Reopening RI. For user's safety, keyboards and mice will be swapped out and counters and chairs wiped with spray sanitizer after each appointment. Hand sanitizer is available for public use. Face masks must be worn at all times in compliance with recommended safety protocol. 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. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches are open with “very reduced parking.” There are no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets are available). The reduced-capacity parking is free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than fifteen people, and everyone must wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 15 people are not allowed and 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 stay at home order. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Open Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. 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. 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. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. PERSONAL PROTECTION 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 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. 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. REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. 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. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 29, 2020 1520

6 days 7 hours ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/29/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,871,347 Recovered: 2,463,332 Deaths: 362,554 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,731,035 Recovered: 399,991 Deaths: 102,201 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 14,635 Hospitalized: 219 Deaths: 693 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 140 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · THE NEXT UPDATE WILL BE RELEASED ON TUESDAY, JUNE 2ND. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will reopen Monday, June 1s 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. PHASE II OF REOPENING RI STARTS MONDAY. A variety of businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen with restrictions, including barbershops, hairdressers, gyms and indoor dining.Gathering sizes may increase to a maximum of 15 people. Domestic travelers coming into Rhode Island will not have to quarantine for 14 days, unless they are coming from municipalities or states with stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. (International travels will still have to quarantine for two weeks.) Places of worship can restart in-person services this weekend. Nursing homes and senior living facilities will remain strictly off-limits to visitors. Phase II Guidelines may be found here. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Starting Monday, June 1, Portsmouth Free Public Library will offer access to the computers by appointment. This limited access will only be for the computers; the other areas of the library will still be off limits. This service is intended to provide patrons with access to library computers. Computer instruction is not available at this time.Appointments will be made in 30-minute blocks of time. Please call the library at 683-9457 option 3 or email porlibref@gmail.com to make your reservation. The Library is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM but is still closed to the public during Phase II of Reopening RI. For user's safety, keyboards and mice will be swapped out and counters and chairs wiped with spray sanitizer after each appointment. Hand sanitizer is available for public use. Face masks must be worn at all times in compliance with recommended safety protocol. 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. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. REOPENING RI PHASE 2. Phase 2 of the Reopening RI plan is still scheduled to begin June 1st. All current restrictions remain in place until then. More information is available at ReopeningRI.com. Highlights of the plan include:Social gatherings limited to 15 people Domestic travel restrictions relaxed. 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions. Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, if viewed as necessary. Everyone who can work from home should continue working from home. All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions. Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions. Haircare & personal services including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services reopen with restrictions. Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions. Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis. Childcare services to resume June 1. Summer camps and small group youth sports practices to resume June 29 with restrictions. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will 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. SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com ):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gyms will be permitted to open on Monday. Guidelines will include keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn. Click here for more information. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. 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. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches are open with “very reduced parking.” There are no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets are available). The reduced-capacity parking is free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Re-opening June 1st Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least Phase 2, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 28, 2020

1 week ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/28/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,931,112 Recovered: 2,388,172 Deaths: 358,067 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,711,313 Recovered: 391,508 Deaths: 101,129 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 14,494 Hospitalized: 222 Deaths: 677 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 135 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. Starting Monday, June 1, Portsmouth Free Public Library will offer access to the computers by appointment. This limited access will only be for the computers; the other areas of the library will still be off limits. This service is intended to provide patrons with access to library computers. Computer instruction is not available at this time.Appointments will be made in 30-minute blocks of time. Please call the library at 683-9457 option 3 or email porlibref@gmail.com to make your reservation. The Library is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM but is still closed to the public during Phase II of Reopening RI. For user's safety, keyboards and mice will be swapped out and counters and chairs wiped with spray sanitizer after each appointment. Hand sanitizer is available for public use. Face masks must be worn at all times in compliance with recommended safety protocol. 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. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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. UPDATED PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM INFORMATION. As of May 28, 2020, 4,435,038 PPP loans have been approved nationwide totaling $511,235,599,685 from 5,511 lenders. Here in Rhode Island, 16,019 small businesses have been approved for PPP loans totaling $1,848,577,405. PPP funds are still available to small business in need. For information on participating lenders or how to apply contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. 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. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. REOPENING RI PHASE 2. Phase 2 of the Reopening RI plan is still scheduled to begin June 1st. All current restrictions remain in place until then. More information is available at ReopeningRI.com. Highlights of the plan include:Social gatherings limited to 15 people Domestic travel restrictions relaxed. 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions. Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, if viewed as necessary. Everyone who can work from home should continue working from home. All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions. Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions. Haircare & personal services including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services reopen with restrictions. Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions. Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis. Childcare services to resume June 1. Summer camps and small group youth sports practices to resume June 29 with restrictions. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will 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. SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com ):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gyms will be permitted to open on Monday. Guidelines will include keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn. Click here for more information. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. 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. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least Phase 2, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 27, 2020 1655

1 week 1 day ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/27/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,647,961 Recovered: 2,325,227 Deaths: 353,011 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,692,786 Recovered: 384,902 Deaths: 99,783 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 14,353 Hospitalized: 218 Deaths: 655 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 134 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: 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. FITNESS CENTERS AND GYMS. Fitness centers and gyms will be permitted to open on Monday. Guidelines will include keeping people and machines six feet or more apart, banning water fountains and locker rooms, and requiring masks be worn. Click here for more information. PHASE 2 VIRTUAL DISCUSSIONS. Rhode Island Commerce will host a series of virtual discussions on Facebook regarding Phase II of Reopening Rhode Island. Following the discussion, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. You can view the Facebook event page here. Remaining topics are:Personal Services (Hair, Nails, Massage Therapists, Etc.): Thursday, 10:30 AM — LINK Restaurants: Thursday, 4:30 PM — LINK PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. REOPENING RI PHASE 2. Phase 2 of the Reopening RI plan is still scheduled to begin June 1st. All current restrictions remain in place until then. More information is available at ReopeningRI.com. Highlights of the plan include:Social gatherings limited to 15 people Domestic travel restrictions relaxed. 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions. Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, if viewed as necessary. Everyone who can work from home should continue working from home. All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions. Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions. Haircare & personal services including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services reopen with restrictions. Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions. Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis. Childcare services to resume June 1. Summer camps and small group youth sports practices to resume June 29 with restrictions. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will begin 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. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. SUMMER CAMPS. Summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance can be found at reopeningri.com ):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. 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. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least Phase 2, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 26, 2020 1612

1 week 2 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/26/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,550,399 Recovered: 2,269,868 Deaths: 348,302 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,588,322 Recovered: 298,418 Deaths: 95,276 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 14,210 Hospitalized: 226 Deaths: 634 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 128 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: PHASE 2 VIRTUAL DISCUSSIONS. Rhode Island Commerce will host a series of virtual discussions on Facebook regarding Phase II of Reopening Rhode Island. Following the discussion, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. You can view the Facebook event page here. The schedule and discussion topics are: Gyms and Fitness Studios: Wednesday, 10 AM — LINK General Businesses: Wednesday, 4:30 PM — LINK Personal Services (Hair, Nails, Massage Therapists, Etc.): Thursday, 10:30 AM — LINK Restaurants: Thursday, 4:30 PM — LINK REOPENING RI PHASE 2. Phase 2 of the Reopening RI plan is still scheduled to begin June 1st. All current restrictions remain in place until then. More information is available at ReopeningRI.com. Highlights of the plan include:Social gatherings limited to 15 people Domestic travel restrictions relaxed. 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions. Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, if viewed as necessary. Everyone who can work from home should continue working from home. All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions. Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions. Haircare & personal services including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services reopen with restrictions. Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions. Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis. Childcare services to resume June 1. Summer camps and small group youth sports practices to resume June 29 with restrictions. PORTSMOUTH BEACH PASSES. Resident beach stickers are required at the Town beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie Point). Beach stickers are now available. Please contact the Recreation Director Wendy Bulk at 401-787-0281 or the Town Clerk’s office at 401-683-2101 for information. You may email the Town Clerk’s Office at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com with a copy of your proof of residency and a current car registration for each car that needs a sticker and we will mail them to you. If you have a current transfer station sticker a beach sticker is not required. PLEASE NOTE: PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie). Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will begin 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. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. SUMMER CAMPS. The Governor announced today that summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance will be posted at reopeningri.com later today):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that his Office has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. 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. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least Phase 2, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 22, 2020 1644

1 week 6 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/22/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,159,674 Recovered: 1,985,656 Deaths: 329,816 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,588,322 Recovered: 298,418 Deaths: 95,276 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 13,736 Hospitalized: 242 Deaths: 579 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 120 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: THE NEXT SITUATION UPDATE WILL BE ISSUED TUESDAY, MAY 26TH. REOPENING RI PHASE 2. Phase 2 of the Reopening RI plan will begin June 1st. All current restrictions remain in place until then. More information is available at ReopeningRI.com. Highlights of the plan include:Social gatherings limited to 15 people Domestic travel restrictions relaxed. 14-day quarantine remains only for those returning to RI from an area still under stay at home restrictions. Office-based businesses can allow up to 33% of their workforce to return, if viewed as necessary. Everyone who can work from home should continue working from home. All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions. Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25% capacity with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions. Restaurants will be allowed to begin indoor dining at up to 50% capacity and other restrictions. Haircare & personal services including barbershops, salons, braiders, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services reopen with restrictions. Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes allowed to reopen with restrictions. Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities (zoo & outdoor areas of historical sites) allowed to resume on a limited basis. Childcare services to resume June 1. Summer camps and small group youth sports practices to resume June 29 with restrictions. PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie) beginning this weekend. Sandy Point o Resident Beach Pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. PLEASE NOTE: BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will begin 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. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. SUMMER CAMPS. The Governor announced today that summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance will be posted at reopeningri.com later today):Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that his Office has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. 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. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least Phase 2, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Potsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 21, 2020 1748

2 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/21/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 5,047,377 Recovered: 1,924,231 Deaths: 329,816 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,562,714 Recovered: 294,312 Deaths: 94,477 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 13,571 Hospitalized: 254 Deaths: 556 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 119 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · SUMMER CAMPS. The Governor announced today that summer camps may begin on June 29th under certain conditions (more guidance will be posted at reopeningri.com later today): Camp will be limited to 15 campers and adults, with ideally the same group interacting with each other every day. Camp employees and counselors will be required to wear masks.Campers will be encouraged to do so. Portsmouth plans to conduct summer camps under the new guidance. For questions on the above, or anything recreation related, contact the Recreation Director, Wendy Bulk, at 401-787-0281 or wbulk@portsmouthri.com. PORTSMOUTH BEACHES. The Portsmouth Council approved new operating guidelines for Portsmouth Beaches (Sandy Point and McCorrie) beginning this weekend. Sandy Point o Resident Beach pass parking only Transfer Station Sticker holders do not require a beach sticker. To allow time for residents to obtain for free stickers from the Town Clerk Office, proof of residency is acceptable. Beach capacity is limited to 100 patrons. There will be no lifeguards on duty, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. The restroom will be closed for cleaning ten minutes each hour. Entrance and exit routes to the beach will be posted in accordance with RI DEM guidance. o Sigourney Road is limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on Sigourney Road. McCorrie Point Resident Beach pass parking only. Entry and exit will be directed by one-way signs. There are no lifeguards at McCorrie, so visitors should proceed with caution while in the water and swim at their own risk. William Street and Annette Drive are limited to resident only parking. Parking permits are being distributed to residents on these roads. Both Beaches In addition to the regular beach rules, all visitors to Sandy Point and McCorrie Point are required to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain 6 feet distance from other persons at the beach. All groups must be limited in size in accordance with current RI Department of Health and state guidelines, and every group must be a minimum of 6 feet apart from other groups. Visitors are also required to practice physical distancing wherever possible while swimming or doing other water-based activities. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth will begin 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. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. PLEASE NOTE: GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that his Office has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans:Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. 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 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. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. 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. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. Guidance is available by clicking here. HAIRDRESSERS. The state is in the process of developing guidelines for hair salons and barbershops to begin reopening in Phase 2. Today the Governor announced that Rhode Island and Connecticut are coordinating timelines for reopening these businesses in early June. 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. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through June 5, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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.) PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 20, 2020 1708

2 weeks 1 day ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/20/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,955,312 Recovered: 1,874,998 Deaths: 325,810 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,541,110 Recovered: 289,392 Deaths: 92,712 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 13,356 Hospitalized: 257 Deaths: 538 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 117 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · GUIDANCE ON PAYMENT PROTECTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND STUDENT LOAN BORROWERS. Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that his Office has issued guidance to student loan borrowers on the new protections available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following measures last until September 30 and are retroactive to March 13 for federally held student loans: Payment postponement: Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month forbearance, retroactive to March 13. The Department of Education has indicated that any auto-debit payments, or voluntary payments made during this period, can be refunded. Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded. Interest waiver: For the same six-month period, no new interest will accrue on federally held student loans. Collection activities: All collection activities on eligible federal student loans, including wage garnishment and reduction of tax refunds and other governmental benefits, are suspended until September 30. No negative credit information will be provided to Credit Reporting Agencies during the suspension period in connection with eligible loans. Servicers are not permitted to report suspended payments as “late” or “missed” payments. Loan forgiveness program or loan rehabilitation program: Even though a borrower’s loan payment is suspended, each month will be counted as a qualifying payment. Concerns about student loan payments can be directed to RIAG Consumer Protection team at 401-274-4400 or studentloans@riag.ri.gov. RELIGIOUS SERVICES. The Governor announced that she intends to allow religious services to resume on the weekend of May 30. Specific guidance is forthcoming, but it is anticipated religious facilities will be limited to 25% capacity. PLEASE NOTE: 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 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. 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. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. Guidance is available by clicking here. HAIRDRESSERS. The state is in the process of developing guidelines for hair salons and barbershops to begin reopening in Phase 2. Today the Governor announced that Rhode Island and Connecticut are coordinating timelines for reopening these businesses in early June. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. 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. 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020. 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. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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.) SUMMER CAMPS MAY BE ALLOWED TO START JUNE 29 WITH RESTRICTIONS. The Governor announced today that new guidelines for both municipal and private summer camps are forthcoming. If approved, campers will be limited to small groups designed to restrict interaction with the same group of children and adults each day.The Portsmouth Recreation Director is working closely with State and Local officials to plan a summer camp program which will adhere to anticipated State guidelines and be ready to open on June 29th. PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 19, 2020 1645

2 weeks 2 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/19/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,872,308 Recovered: 1,671,375 Deaths: 321,593 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,520,029 Recovered: 283,178 Deaths: 91,187 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 12,951 Hospitalized: 247 Deaths: 532 Aquidneck Island (as of May 13th) (RI Department of Health) Cases: 112 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 0 Recovered: 2 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · 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 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. 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. CHILD CARE. The state has published guidance for childcare centers, which are scheduled to reopen June 1. Guidance is available by clicking here. PLEASE NOTE: CHURCHES. The state is targeting allowing in-person faith services the weekend of May 30th. Guidelines will be available on ReopeningRI.com later this week. HAIRDRESSERS. The state is in the process of developing guidelines for hair salons and barbershops to begin reopening in Phase 2. Today the Governor announced that Rhode Island and Connecticut are coordinating timelines for reopening these businesses in early June. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. STATE BEACHES. East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. 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. 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020. 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. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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.) SUMMER CAMPS MAY BE ALLOWED TO START JUNE 29 WITH RESTRICTIONS. The Governor announced today that new guidelines for both municipal and private summer camps are forthcoming. If approved, campers will be limited to small groups designed to restrict interaction with the same group of children and adults each day.The Portsmouth Recreation Director is working closely with State and Local officials to plan a summer camp program which will adhere to anticipated State guidelines and be ready to open on June 29th. PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 18, 2020 1715

2 weeks 3 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/18/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: • World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Cases: 4,769,177 o Recovered: 1,612,030 o Deaths: 316,898 • USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) o Cases: 1,496,509 o Recovered: 272,265 o Deaths: 89,874 • Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) o Cases: 12,795 o Hospitalized: 236 o Deaths: 506 • Aquidneck Island (as of May 13th) (RI Department of Health) o Cases: 112 o Deaths Not Available • Staff o Active Cases: 1 o Recovered: 1 o Quarantined: 0 o 72 Hour wait: 0 o Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) LOAN FORGIVENESS. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and guidelines are now available. If you received a PPP loan, you can complete the application and submit it to your lender. You may also be able to submit the application electronically through your lender. More information and the application can be found by clicking here. • STATE BEACHES.East Matunuck and Scarborough State Beaches will reopen on Memorial Day with “very reduced parking.” There will be no bathroom or shower facilities, concession stands or lifeguards (portable toilets will be available). The reduced-capacity parking will be free. • PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY. Tomorrow is the deadline to submit applications to get a mail-in ballot for the presidential primary, which is being held on June 3. Applications were sent out to registered voters within the past month. PLEASE NOTE: • EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD.The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. • 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. • 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. o 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020. Restaurants with a current liquor license may also apply for temporary expansion of their liquor services area. o 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. o 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. o For those establishments with current liquor licenses, applications will require Town Council approval. o Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at 401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. • BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroEprogram. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks. o More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. • HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events. o Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. o The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. o If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. • MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. o To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 o Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com • 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. • BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY. In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. o RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders: o EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot o EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election o EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests o EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. • EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can befound here. • STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: o Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* o Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth o Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* o Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown o Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) o Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* o Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence o John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown o J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston o Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth o Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) o Meshanticut State Park, Cranston o Pulaski State Park, Glocester* o Purgatory Chasm, Middletown o Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. o All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. o Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas. ? Bocce at Sr Center: Open ? Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open ? Dog Park: Closed ? Elmhurst Park: Open ? Founders Brook: Open ? Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open ? Glen Park: Open ? Heritage Park: Open ? Legion Park: Open ? McCorrie Point: Open ? Melville Recreation Area: Open ? Mount Hope Park: Open ? Oakland Forest: Open ? Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open ? Sandy Point Beach: Open ? Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open o As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. o The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020. o Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone. ? In person service is by appointment only. • LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. • DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year. o Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. • NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. • GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings: o Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) o Office-based o Non-profit organizations o Manufacturing o Construction o Food Service Industry o All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption o Details can be found by clicking here. • 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. • 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. • ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES.The Governor signedExecutive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. o The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. o Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors mustalso self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. • VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. o For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. o Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. • DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. • GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00-10:30am. • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. o WiFi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot. o Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. • 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. o SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon o ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School servicefrom 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. o SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. o Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. • FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. • DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT • REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE.Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. • 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 401-643-0379 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 ? Sew a 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. • FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING • 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 • 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: ? 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. • RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION • 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 Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. • SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender.If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. o The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. • AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community. o Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. • OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. o Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. o Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. o Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. o Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. o Seating will be by reservation only. o More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. • 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. • ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/.Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include: o Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). o Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. o Yard sales are prohibited. o Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). o Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. o Gatherings remain limited to five people. o Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. o Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. o For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. o Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. • 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. • GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.” o If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. o Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS.SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. o The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/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? 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 will start 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 • 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.) • SUMMER CAMPS MAY BE ALLOWED TO START JUNE 29 WITH RESTRICTIONS. The Governor announced today that new guidelines for both municipal and private summer camps are forthcoming. If approved, campers will be limited to small groups designed to restrict interaction with the same group of children and adults each day. o The Portsmouth Recreation Director is working closely with State and Local officials to plan a summer camp program which will adhere to anticipated State guidelines and be ready to open on June 29th. • PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. • 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. • REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. • COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details • 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. • INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended. o Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. o The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. • RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. • 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. • ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses. o FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS o FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response o FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System o (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) • 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: o 401-414-LINK (5465) o 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. 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 Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. • EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19. Employees out of work or unable to work due to COVID-19 should review the following sites: o RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options. Quick facts are located here. o EMPLOY RI Website. The listed openings include many opportunities in Portsmouth. o 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. • FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. • DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine. o The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. • 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. • FOOD BANK DONATIONS.THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. • FOOD BANK.The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. o TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30am–2:00pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comand leave a message if you need more information about donating food.Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot). ? Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. o TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK.Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10am and 2pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comand a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. o WANT TO VOLUNTEER?If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.comwith the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. o WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY? ? Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or ? Visit the Donation linkstbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.organd click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or ? 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. o FOR MORE INFORMATION regarding the Portsmouth Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. • 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/ • HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. • STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump. o Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. o Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. • SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. o The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1.RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch.The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. • 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. 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.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 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. • RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? • Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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 May 15, 2020 1612

2 weeks 6 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/15/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,516,360 Recovered: 1,621,489 Deaths: 305,395 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,429,990 Recovered: 246,414 Deaths: 86,744 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 12,219 Hospitalized: 272 Deaths: 479 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 112 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 1 Recovered: 1 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · THE NEXT SITUATION UPDATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON MONDAY, MAY 18TH. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-34. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-34 – Extension of Various Executive Orders:EO 20-11. Delaying Primary Elections and Preparing for a Predominantly Mail Ballot EO 20-27. Further Preparations of a Predominantly Mail Ballot Election EO 20-25. Public Meetings and Public Records Requests EO 20-26. Support of Young Adults Aging Out of State Care. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. IF YOU ARE REOPENING YOUR BUSINESS IN PHASE 1 YOU MUST COMPLETE AND SIGN THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS BY MONDAY, MAY 18:COVID-19 Control Plan: Business owners are asked to fill out a simple plan outlining how they will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplace. You *do not* need to submit that plan for approval. But keep it handy on your premises so you can consult it as you operate your business; you’ll also need to present it in the case of an inspection or an outbreak. Download the COVID-19 Control Plan Template Here. COVID-19 Checklist: Business owners are asked to print, sign and display a poster outlining the proactive steps they’ve taken to keep their employees and customers safe. Download the COVID-10 Checklist Here. PHASE 2 OF REOPENING RHODE ISLAND. Phase 2 reopening is not likely to start until the beginning of June. Reports by the Governor that it would start earlier were in error. 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. EXTENSION OF PORTSMOUTH TAX PAYMENT GRACE PERIOD. The grace period for the payment of property taxes has been extended to June 30, 2020. Click here for more information. PLEASE NOTE: 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020. 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. In anticipation of a special Town Council meeting, those applications should be submitted not later than noon on Monday May 18 to be considered at that meeting. Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at 401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. RI COURTS CLOSED. The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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.) SUMMER CAMPS MAY BE ALLOWED TO START JUNE 29 WITH RESTRICTIONS. The Governor announced today that new guidelines for both municipal and private summer camps are forthcoming. If approved, campers will be limited to small groups designed to restrict interaction with the same group of children and adults each day.The Portsmouth Recreation Director is working closely with State and Local officials to plan a summer camp program which will adhere to anticipated State guidelines and be ready to open on June 29th. PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth Issues EXECUTIVE ORDER on RESTAURANT REOPENINGS AND OUTDOOR DINING EXPANSION

2 weeks 6 days ago
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-07 May 13, 2020 RESTAURANT REOPENINGS AND OUTDOOR DINING EXPANSION WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-02 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the “Pandemic”), and that Declaration has been extended to June 5, 2020; and WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 15 of Title 30 of the Rhode Island General Laws and by Executive Order 2020-01, a state of emergency was declared for the Town of Portsmouth on March 16, 2020, due to the dangers to health and life posed by COVID-19, and that Declaration was extended to May 22, 2020; and WHEREAS, the Pandemic and the restrictions required to contain it have had a negative impact on businesses throughout the Town, with the restaurant and hospitality industries being severely impacted; and WHEREAS, the State has begun a very limited re-opening of some areas of the State's economic, cultural and civic life; and WHEREAS, it is critical that the Town’s economy be reopened in a phased and measured way, consistent with the need to maintain the health and safety of the public; and WHEREAS, the Governor has authorized restaurants, bars and establishments that offer food and drink to resume on-premises consumption of food or drink in outdoor areas as of May 18, 2020, subject to compliance with state and local regulations; and WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the general welfare of the community to allow restaurants to temporarily expand their service areas to allow outdoor dining, provided that any such expansion complies with any applicable executive orders, regulations or directives issued by the Governor, the Rhode Island Department of Health (“RIDOH”), the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (“RIDBR”), or any other state agency, and with the provisions of this Executive Order. NOW, THEREFORE, 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, and with the consent of the Portsmouth Town Council, I do hereby order and direct the following: 1. 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020 (“Application for Temporary Expansion of Victualler or Liquor License (Outdoor Service)”). Restaurants with a current liquor license may also apply for temporary expansion of their liquor services area. Applications may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s office via email at clerkoffice@portsmouthri.com, or by calling 401-683-2101, and may be filed via email. All applicable filing and inspection fees associated (except tent permits) with such applications shall be waived. 2. All applications shall include: a) a plan showing: (1) the proposed outdoor service area; (2) the proposed number of seats (capacity may not exceed the current licensed capacity); (3) the location of physical barriers or other protection to keep diners separated from other trafficked areas; and, (4) for restaurants wishing to temporarily convert a portion of off-street parking areas into service areas, a parking plan; b) evidence that the expanded service area is covered by liability insurance; c) where any portion of the proposed area of temporary expansion is owned by a separate legal entity, a written authorization from the property owner; and d) where use of a tent is proposed, a separate tent permit application shall be required. 3. All temporary expansions of service areas shall make adequate provisions for parking and the physical safety of diners, and shall be operated in compliance with a) social distancing or other applicable regulations issued by RIDOH and/or RIDBR; b) all applicable fire codes and provisions of the Life Safety Code; c) applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and, d) except as suspended or modified herein, applicable provisions of the Portsmouth Zoning Code. 4. All applications shall be reviewed for compliance with the provisions of this Executive Order by the Building Official, Fire Marshal, Police, Town Clerk and/or such other Town officials as may be designated by the Town Administrator. Food Service Expansion Applications may be administratively approved by the Town Clerk. Liquor Expansion Applications must be approved by the Town Council pursuant to RIGL § 3-5-17. 5. The following provisions of the Portsmouth Zoning Ordinance are hereby suspended/modified only in connection with a duly authorized temporary expansion of a restaurant service area under this Executive Order: Requiremtns for a SPecialUse Permit, parking requirements or contrcution of temporary off-street parking areas a) Article V, Article VI (Sections B and C), and any other provision that would otherwise prohibit or require the issuance of a special use permit for the temporary expansion; b) Article IX (Section A) or any other provision that would otherwise require the creation of additional parking spaces for the expanded service area; provided further, that restaurants which have received approval to temporarily convert a portion of off-street parking areas into temporary service areas may do so without providing additional parking spaces, provided that the Building Official determines that the number of spaces available is reasonably adequate based on the number of seats provided; c) Article IV (Sections A, B and C) and any other provision that would otherwise prohibit the placement of an accessory structure in any required front yard, or that would require a specific setback from abutting properties; provided however, that any temporary outdoor service area approved hereunder shall maintain a setback of at least ten feet (10’) from the front side and rear property lines of the licensed premises, and shall maintain a setback of at least twenty feet (20’) from any property line abutting a residential use; and 6. The hours of operation of any temporary outdoor service area approved hereunder shall be limited to 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. 7. If consumption of food or drink in indoor portions of the restaurant is allowed to resume, the size of the temporary service area shall be reduced as needed, so the total number of seats, indoor and outdoor, does not exceed the restaurant’s current licensed capacity. 8. The Town may take enforcement action with respect to licensing and/or zoning against any establishment that fails to comply with this provision of this Executive Order. 9. Nothing in this Executive Order shall constrain duties and powers of the Town authorized by Title 30, Chapter 15 of the Rhode Island General Laws and the Portsmouth Town Code. 10. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and remain in full force and effect until October 15, 2020, unless modified or terminated by subsequent Executive Order. ORDERED this 13th day of May 2020: _______________________________ Kevin M. Aguiar Town Council President Town of Portsmouth, RI

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 14, 2020 1705

3 weeks ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/14/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,420,743 Recovered: 1,578,135 Deaths: 301,160 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,405,961 Recovered: 243,430 Deaths: 85,194 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 12,016 Hospitalized: 271 Deaths: 468 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 112 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 1 Recovered: 1 Quarantined: 2 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · 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 premises on or after May 18, 2020. 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. In anticipation of a special Town Council meeting, those applications should be submitted not later than noon on Monday May 18 to be considered at that meeting. Questions and comments? Contact the Portsmouth Town Clerk at (401-683-2101 or ClerkOffice@PortsmouthRI.com. SUMMER CAMPS MAY BE ALLOWED TO START JUNE 29 WITH RESTRICTIONS. The Governor announced today that new guidelines for both municipal and private summer camps are forthcoming. If approved, campers will be limited to small groups designed to restrict interaction with the same group of children and adults each day.The Portsmouth Recreation Director is working closely with State and Local officials to plan a summer camp program which will adhere to anticipated State guidelines and be ready to open on June 29th. PUBLIC LIBRARIES. Libraries will be allowed to offer limited browsing in Phase 2 of the State’s reopening. 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. 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.) PLEASE NOTE: 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. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PORTSMOUTH DOG LICENSING. Dog license renewal applications were due, April 30th. Fines for late renewals will be waived through May 15th. The Town Clerk's office is processing dog licenses by mail, or all necessary items may be placed in an envelope and put in the Tax Assessor’s drop box. Forms and envelopes are in the Town Hall south entry vestibule which is accessible to the public during the workday. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 (ALL GOVERNOR RAIMONDO'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE) STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-05 SUPERSEDED. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-25 – Public Meetings and Public Records Requests. It supersedes the previous order concerning this subject.Open Meetings may allow remote participation. Statutory timeframes within which to respond to an APRA may be extended by 20 days. The order is in effect until May 15, 2020. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-06 – SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGING OUT OF STATE CARE. All young adults who were VEC or YESS Aftercare participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, shall be permitted to voluntarily receive services and supports for a period of up to 60 days following the termination of this order. The Order is in effect until May 15, 2020. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. RI COURTS CLOSED. The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. FAMILY SERVICES. Family Service of RI is asking for help to provide items to help the low-income children, families and seniors it serves “be safe” from COVID-19. Anyone interested in helping should click here or call Maggie Slane at 401-331-1350 ext. 3840 or email slanema@familyserviceri.org. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 13, 2020 1810

3 weeks 1 day ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/13/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,330,982 Recovered: 1,538,388 Deaths: 295,671 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,388,002 Recovered: 243,430 Deaths: 83,715 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 11,835 Hospitalized: 269 Deaths: 462 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 112 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 1 Recovered: 1 Quarantined: 2 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · 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. 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. Distribution will begin as soon as Monday, May 18. More information can be found here. SMALL BUSINESS LAPTOP PROGRAM. RI Commerce will be donating 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Laptops will be allocated to small businesses that will use the devices either to make improvements to business operations and revenue or to promote additional opportunities for employees to work remotely/virtually. Priority consideration will be given to businesses located in an Opportunity Zone and/or those that are owned/led by people of color, women, veterans or low to moderate income individuals. Applications are due on May 26, 2020 and are available here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has prepared an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) guide concerning paycheck protection program loans. It can be viewed by clicking here. PLEASE NOTE: 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. EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PORTSMOUTH DOG LICENSING. Dog license renewal applications were due, April 30th. Fines for late renewals will be waived through May 15th. The Town Clerk's office is processing dog licenses by mail, or all necessary items may be placed in an envelope and put in the Tax Assessor’s drop box. Forms and envelopes are in the Town Hall south entry vestibule which is accessible to the public during the workday. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 (ALL GOVERNOR RAIMONDO'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE) STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-05 SUPERSEDED. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-25 – Public Meetings and Public Records Requests. It supersedes the previous order concerning this subject.Open Meetings may allow remote participation. Statutory timeframes within which to respond to an APRA may be extended by 20 days. The order is in effect until May 15, 2020. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-06 – SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGING OUT OF STATE CARE. All young adults who were VEC or YESS Aftercare participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, shall be permitted to voluntarily receive services and supports for a period of up to 60 days following the termination of this order. The Order is in effect until May 15, 2020. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. RI COURTS CLOSED. The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended.Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. FAMILY SERVICES. Family Service of RI is asking for help to provide items to help the low-income children, families and seniors it serves “be safe” from COVID-19. Anyone interested in helping should click here or call Maggie Slane at 401-331-1350 ext. 3840 or email slanema@familyserviceri.org. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 12,2020 1658

3 weeks 2 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/12/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,238,703 Recovered: 1,482,583 Deaths: 290,269 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,358,901 Recovered: 232,733 Deaths: 81,805 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 11,614 Hospitalized: 277 Deaths: 444 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 106 Deaths Not Available StaffActive Cases: 1 Recovered: 1 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Free hotspot coverage period has been extended. Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until June 30th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. 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. REVISED 2019-20 SCHOOL CALENDAR. The revised 2019-20 school calendar approved by the School Committee is available by clicking here. COX INTERNET. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details PLEASE NOTE: EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. HURRICANE PLANNING UNDER COVID-19 PORTSMOUTH IS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. With the hurricane season almost upon us, the Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), in cooperation with the Town of Portsmouth, is seeking volunteers to assist in planning for evacuation and sheltering for severe weather events.Hurricane season officially starts June 1, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional response and recovery evacuation and sheltering practices will require changes. The planning process is the responsibility of the local municipality and, as such, PEMA is looking for individuals who can commit to help draft an updated local plan. Ideally, volunteers will have some exposure to emergency response planning. In addition, those with experience in the hotel, food, and transportation industries are strongly encouraged to volunteer. Also encouraged are representatives from mobile home parks, flood prone neighborhoods, assisted living and nursing home facilities, and subsidized living communities. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Ray Perry, Director of Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at rperry@portsmouthri.com by Wednesday May 27th, 2020. Please provide your contact and experience information. You may also leave this information in the Town Hall mailbox or mail it to PEMA, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. If you have any questions, call Ray Perry at 401-477-2172. MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com 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. BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PORTSMOUTH DOG LICENSING. Dog license renewal applications were due, April 30th. Fines for late renewals will be waived through May 15th. The Town Clerk's office is processing dog licenses by mail, or all necessary items may be placed in an envelope and put in the Tax Assessor’s drop box. Forms and envelopes are in the Town Hall south entry vestibule which is accessible to the public during the workday. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 (ALL GOVERNOR RAIMONDO'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE) STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-05 SUPERSEDED. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-25 – Public Meetings and Public Records Requests. It supersedes the previous order concerning this subject.Open Meetings may allow remote participation. Statutory timeframes within which to respond to an APRA may be extended by 20 days. The order is in effect until May 15, 2020. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-06 – SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGING OUT OF STATE CARE. All young adults who were VEC or YESS Aftercare participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, shall be permitted to voluntarily receive services and supports for a period of up to 60 days following the termination of this order. The Order is in effect until May 15, 2020. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. RI COURTS CLOSED. The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School servicefrom 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 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 Sew a maskPattern 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details. 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. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $16,945 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. FAMILY SERVICES. Family Service of RI is asking for help to provide items to help the low-income children, families and seniors it serves “be safe” from COVID-19. Anyone interested in helping should click here or call Maggie Slane at 401-331-1350 ext. 3840 or email slanema@familyserviceri.org. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 11, 2020 1708

3 weeks 3 days ago
COVID-19 UPDATE 5/11/2020 PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER Phone: (401) 643-0379 In an Emergency dial 911 Email: covid@portsmouthri.com SITUATION TO DATE: World (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 4,153,871 Recovered: 1,432,847 Deaths: 284,628 USA (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University) Cases: 1,340,643 Recovered: 216,169 Deaths: 79,935 Rhode Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 11,450 Hospitalized: 276 Deaths: 430 Aquidneck Island (RI Department of Health) Cases: 105 Deaths Not Available StaffCases: 1 Recovered: 1 Quarantined: 0 72 Hour wait: 0 Deaths: 0 TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION: · OUTDOOR DINING. Outdoor dining will be permitted in Rhode Island starting May 18, with strict guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Outdoor tables will be required to be eight feet apart or have physical barriers in between. Tables and chairs must be disinfected in between parties. Parties are limited to no more than 5 people. Valet parking and buffets or salad bars will be prohibited. Seating will be by reservation only. More information is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. AQUIDNECK ISLAND ECONOMIC RECOVERY PARTNERSHIP. Together with Middletown and Newport, we are forming a municipal response team with the staff of Connect Greater Newport (CGN) and a broader group of regional stakeholders that will allow us to provide different levels of response to area businesses as needed to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses in our community.Beginning next week, CGN is preparing to distribute an initial survey that will allow us to better understand how our businesses are responding to this crisis. Follow-up surveys will be sent out on a regular, periodic basis, so we will be able to gauge how businesses are doing in their recovery as we move through this pandemic. 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/. BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM. The Town of Portsmouth is working with the R. I. Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to become part of the MicroE program. Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. We hope to begin accepting applications within the next two weeks.More information is available at the Town website by clicking here. PLEASE NOTE: EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON FACE MASKS. The Governor has signed a new executive order directing everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. The only exceptions are for children younger than two years of age and anyone whose health would be negatively affected by wearing a face covering. The order goes into effect today. Click here for more information. CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor will direct 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 Sew a maskPattern for a mask Instructions for a mask Video tutorial MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. Be part of the Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) Point of Dispensing (POD) Program as a volunteer and get some basic training online. When we finally get a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a good probability we will activate a POD for mass inoculation. A perk is that MEDS POD volunteers and their immediate families get head-of-the-line privileges when they report for their volunteer assignment. No training is necessary, but it is helpful. Basic MEDS POD Training on-line is being done by RI DOH. To find training dates and how-to login go to https://tinyurl.com/yxylgyg6 Or contact Rich Talipsky 401-643-0382, rtaliipsky@portsmouthri.com PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN MONEY STILL AVAILABLE. There is still loan money available to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The process is smooth and easy and funding can be moved quickly. Click Here to find a qualified lender. If you are having trouble finding a lender or have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program contact RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov. 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. BOY SCOUTS TO HELP COLLECT FOOD FOR THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK. Portsmouth Scouts are coordinating a food collection during COVID-19 to help the Portsmouth Community Emergency Food Bank. There will be food donation bins near the checkout at Clements Marketplace, The Green Grocer, and Dollar General and the scouts will periodically pick up the donations and take them to the Food Bank. Support the scouts and the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank by purchasing an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on your way out. PORTSMOUTH DOG LICENSING. Dog license renewal applications were due, April 30th. Fines for late renewals will be waived through May 15th. The Town Clerk's office is processing dog licenses by mail, or all necessary items may be placed in an envelope and put in the Tax Assessor’s drop box. Forms and envelopes are in the Town Hall south entry vestibule which is accessible to the public during the workday. PLEASE TAKE THE WELLNESS SURVEY: · PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY . In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here. RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey. If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family. We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed. If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns. 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 If you have questions about this initiative, 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 (ALL GOVERNOR RAIMONDO'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE) STATE PARKS HAVE BEGUN TO REOPEN. RI DEM has begun the gradual reopening of state parks. Many diverse and varied outdoor spaces will be open for Rhode Islanders to safely enjoy while adhering to the Governor’s guidance on not gathering in groups and practicing social distancing. DEM is reopening state parks in a graduated manner and is staggering park openings, reducing the size of parking areas and restricting hours of operation and activities to prevent crowds. DEM hopes to reopen all parks by the end of May. A second phase of the reopening plan will include the saltwater beaches, which will open later this spring with new restrictions in place. The following State Parks will be open daily: Beavertail State Park, Jamestown* Black Regiment Monument, Portsmouth Burlingame State Park, Charlestown* Cocumcussoc Park, North Kingstown Fort Adams State Park, Newport* (closes at 6 PM) Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown* Haines Memorial State Park, East Providence John H. Chafee Nature Preserve, North Kingstown J.L. Curran State Park, Cranston Lehigh High Grove, Portsmouth Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln* (closes at 6:00 PM) Meshanticut State Park, Cranston Pulaski State Park, Glocester* Purgatory Chasm, Middletown Snake Den State Park, Johnston *Parking capacity has been reduced to limit the number of visitors at the park to limit crowding and support social distancing. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS and RECREATION AREAS. All Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice. Most Parks and Beaches are open. 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, gatherings can be no greater than five people, and everyone to wear a cloth face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Group activities of greater than 5 people are not allowed and out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days before any outdoor activity. See below for a list and status of Portsmouth Recreation areas.Bocce at Sr Center: Open Bristol Ferry Town Common: Open Dog Park: Closed Elmhurst Park: Open Founders Brook: Open Glen Farm/Gardiner Seveney: Open Glen Park: Open Heritage Park: Open Legion Park: Open McCorrie Point: Open Melville Recreation Area: Open Mount Hope Park: Open Oakland Forest: Open Sakonnet Greenway Trail: Open Sandy Point Beach: Open Weaver Cove Boat Launch: Open As required, the Portsmouth Police department will work to remind people of the current guidelines. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations' COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines. PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 22, 2020.Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via phone.In person service is by appointment only. LARGE EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2020. Large events will not be feasible this summer. This will include the Bristol July 4th Parade and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. No weddings that would include a significant number of guests (more than 50) will likely not be allowed in June or July. The situation will be monitored and wedding gatherings of up to 100 could be allowed by August. PHASED PLAN FOR REOPENING RI. Governor Raimondo announced guidelines today for re-opening Rhode Island and provided an overview of the first stage of the plan. Details are available at ReopeningRI.com. The first phase will involve resuming business and social activity on a limited basis while maintaining restrictions to protect public health. DISTANCE LEARNING FOR REST OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. The Governor announced today Rhode Island public schools are continuing with distance learning for the rest of the school year.Parents and Educators looking for support with Distance Learning should visit the Highlander Institute by clicking here. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until May 8th. The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection. NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER ON HEALTH INSURANCE. Executive Order 20-29: Twenty-Sixth Supplemental Emergency Declaration – Promoting Better Coordination of Health Care Coverage was signed. The order includes directives requiring insurers not to increase out-of-pocket prescription costs or change drug coverage; relaxes the process for obtaining specialist referrals; limits mandates for prior authorization to seek care; and maintains mental health coverage. GUIDANCE FOR WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS AT WORK. Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe. Therefore, per Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24, beginning Saturday, April 18th, all employees of the following business types are required to wear cloth face coverings:Customer-facing (including retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, liquor stores, banks, etc.) Office-based Non-profit organizations Manufacturing Construction Food Service Industry All other businesses continuing in-person operations where DBR has not granted an exemption Details can be found by clicking here. 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. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-05 SUPERSEDED. The Governor issued Executive Order 20-25 – Public Meetings and Public Records Requests. It supersedes the previous order concerning this subject.Open Meetings may allow remote participation. Statutory timeframes within which to respond to an APRA may be extended by 20 days. The order is in effect until May 15, 2020. EXECUTIVE ORDER 20-06 – SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGING OUT OF STATE CARE. All young adults who were VEC or YESS Aftercare participants as of January 1, 2020, and who turn age 21 from January 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, shall be permitted to voluntarily receive services and supports for a period of up to 60 days following the termination of this order. The Order is in effect until May 15, 2020. 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. ENFORCEMENT OF QUARANTINE RULES. The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20 (link to http://governor.ri.gov/documents/orders/Executive-Order-20-20.pdf) directing health officials to develop regulations to enforce penalties, including a series of fines, on those who break their quarantines. The rules apply to those who have been ordered to quarantine because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as those required to do so because they had contact with someone with the disease. Out of state visitors. All out of state visitors must also self-quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas. PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS. Portsmouth playgrounds are closed until further notice. VOTING BY MAIL. The Governor’s Executive Order 20-11 moved the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Rhode Island to June 2nd. The Executive Order also stated that this will be a predominantly mail ballot election. For this election, all Rhode Island registered voters will receive a mail ballot application along with a postage-paid return envelope. To vote by mail, voters must return the application by May 19th. The deadline to register to vote and to update your voter information for this election was May 3rd. Due to the public health emergency there will be fewer polling places available on June 2nd. For this reason, we are urging voters to vote by mail. If you choose to vote at a polling place, go to www.vote.ri.gov to confirm where you will vote. Polling places will be confirmed soon. RI COURTS CLOSED. The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th. DMV EXTENSIONS. DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The Division of Motor Vehicles has given a 90-day grace period to those whose driver’s licenses, car registrations and other documents would have expired in May. More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website. GRAB AND GO. Breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth High School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 am. PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY. The library is closed but you can still download books and audio. Find out more here. Additionally, starting immediately, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and audiobooks. Curbside pickup is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. 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. Tumblebooks is free until August 31st. 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.SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School servicefrom 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. o HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: August 29 at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359. FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT. The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. DOG PARK. The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE. Rhode Island has joined a multi-state collaborative to purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. The coalition of states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, will identify regional need for medical supplies, work together to reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. 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 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies. 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. FREE FABRIC FOR CLOTH FACE MASKS. Job Lot is making free fabric available to all Rhode Island residents to make our own fabric face coverings. Every Job Lot has a display set up and they have enough free fabric for 1 million masks. COVID-19 TESTING 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 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. RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE: CVS opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln. The testing site will be by-appointment only. Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes. The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work. More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. BUSINESS INFORMATION 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. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON REOPENING RI, PHASE 1. The Governor and the Administration provided additional detail on reopening RI, Phase 1. General business guidance, including recommendations for non-critical retail establishments, is available at https://www.reopeningri.com/. Guidance from the Department of Business Regulation on specific types of businesses and operations is available on https://dbr.ri.gov/covid/covid19updates.php. Additional details include:Non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen with new guidelines (https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/Phase-1-Non-Critical-Retail-Guidelines5.6.20.pdf). Gyms, as well as close-contact businesses (such as nail salons, spas, barbers/hairdressers, tattoo parlors, etc.), remain closed. Yard sales are prohibited. Expansion of medical services into non-emergency services, though dental and optical services are only for time-sensitive procedures (at the discretion of the provider). Employees are still encouraged to work from home to the greatest extent possible. Gatherings remain limited to five people. Religious services may occur with up to five people present (with streaming video); funerals may proceed with up to ten people. Self-quarantine requirements for people entering Rhode Island from domestic travel will remain in effect until at least May 22, but the Governor signaled some flexibility for Rhode Island residents who need to travel out of state on short trips for necessities. The self-quarantine requirement for international travel was extended until June 5. For full details and ways to prepare for Phase 1 as well as the following phases, please go to www.reopeningri.com. Businesses in need of help with remote working can receive free tech help by calling 521-Help, or by going to the Commerce RI tech support page. 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. GARDEN CENTER PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE. The RI Department of Environmental Management in conjunction with the Department of Business Regulation issued guidance to clarify the April 18 directive by the Governor that all garden centers cease in-store retail sales until April 27 and then reopen only in strict compliance with the protocols. The guidance can be found by clicking here. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM. The US Treasury and US Small Business Administration “have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan. To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application. Regulatory guidance implementing this procedure will be forthcoming.”If you need help navigating the CARES Act programs, the U.S. Chamber has produced a number of guides to help small businesses. Apply through your financial institution. More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce. COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINARS. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. The Portsmouth Business Association COVID-19 Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/covid-19-business-help/ 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 will start 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 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. INTERNET FOR DISTANCE LEARNING. Cox Communications has extended its internet assistance offerings for families through July 15th. Click here for more details. 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. RI READS AT HOME. Congratulations to Portsmouth Middle Schoolers for excelling in the Governor’s Reading Challenge for April! More information about the program can be found by clicking here. 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. 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. ONLINE TRAINING ON HOW WE HANDLE DISASTERS. Responses to disasters and events such as COVID-19 are guided by the National Incident Command System (ICS). FEMA has on-line courses on ICS which can help you understand how we respond to these events. Here are links to a few key FEMA on-line courses.FEMA ICS-100.c – Basic ICS FEMA ICS-200.c - ICS for Initial Response FEMA IS-700.b: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (Note: to obtain official credit, establish a FEMA training SID account at the following site https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid) 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 or 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 beginning in the first week of May. Employers are encouraged to start applying next week. 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. Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement. 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. FREE SINGLE OCCUPANCY HOUSING. Brown University is providing 700 dorm rooms for front line workers who can’t or don’t want to return home after their work shifts due to fear they are contagious and could infect their families. More information can be found by clicking here. DISCOUNTED LODGING RATES TO FRONTLINE WORKERS. Rhode Island is creating a network of college dorm rooms and cut-price hotel rooms for people who need to remain quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic. The state has also worked with the hospitality industry to create RIHavens.com, which offers hotel rooms for as little as $25 per night for people who need a place to quarantine.The dorm rooms at the state colleges will be for health care workers and first responders who, while not necessarily infected with the disease, don't want to risk the health of family or roommates by staying at home. 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. · FOOD BANK DONATIONS. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the Portsmouth Food Bank. To date, over $10,800 has been received. FOOD BANK. The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank. TO DONATE FOOD. The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday and / or Friday. The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food. Non-perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).Food and food-related items needed include things such as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards. TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK. Come to the Food Bank between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs. WANT TO VOLUNTEER? If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing. WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or 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 Community Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com. 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/ HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS. The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID. The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. STIMULUS BILL. On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child. Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. SNAP BENEFITS. In March and April, SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size received an increase to their benefits to bring them to the maximum amount. The Federal government has approved a similar increase for May. The Department issued these additional benefits on May 1. RI will receive additional funding form the Federal coronavirus spending bills which will provide extra money for food to parents with school-age children who receive free or reduced lunch. The amount is $5.70 per child per day that school is closed, retroactive to March 16, or about to about $200 per child so far. FAMILY SERVICES. Family Service of RI is asking for help to provide items to help the low-income children, families and seniors it serves “be safe” from COVID-19. Anyone interested in helping should click here or call Maggie Slane at 401-331-1350 ext. 3840 or email slanema@familyserviceri.org. 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. RI STUDENT LOANS. The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. NEED MORE INFORMATION? Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services 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. A volunteer is ready to assist you. If you cannot get through, use email. We will get back to you. 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

PORTSMOUTH ISSUES FIFTH SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION

3 weeks 6 days ago
EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-6 May 8, 2020 FIFTH SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION This is an Emergency Declaration supplement to the Portsmouth Executive Order 2020-1 issued March 16, 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 June 5, 2020. ORDERED this 8th day of May 2020. ______________________________ Kevin M. Aguiar Town Council President Town of Portsmouth, RI
Checked
24 minutes 47 seconds ago
Portsmouth, RI - Get the latest from Blog
Subscribe to Portsmouth Blog feed

Portsmouth News

Checked
24 minutes 47 seconds ago
Portsmouth, RI - Get the latest news
Subscribe to Portsmouth News feed

RIEMA

Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island Department of Health, and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency Urge Rhode Islanders to Prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season in a COVID Environment

3 days 9 hours ago
Cranston, RI— Governor Gina Raimondo advises Rhode Islanders to prepare for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins June 1st and extends through November 30th. This year she is asking people to take into consideration protecting themselves from COVID-19 in their hurricane planning. "...
Checked
24 minutes 47 seconds ago
Emergency Management Agency - Press Releases
Subscribe to RIEMA feed