May 14

Portsmouth FINAL COVID-1 Weekly UPDATE May 14, 2021, 1420

Posted on May 14, 2021 at 2:35 PM by Richard Talipsky

COVID-19 UPDATE

05/14/2021

THIS IS THE FINAL WEEKLY UPDATE

Please monitor the Town Website for current COVID related information in the future.

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May 06

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE May 6, 2021, 1515

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 3:26 PM by Richard Talipsky

COVID-19 UPDATE

05/06/2021

Next update will be issued Friday, May 14th.

 

PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE

Phone: (401) 643-0350

In an Emergency dial 911

Email:   covid@portsmouthri.com

All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential

 

SITUATION TO DATE:

  • World

(Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)

  • Total Cases:                 155,425,409
  • Recovered:                 91,835,850
  • Deaths:                        3,246,844

 

  • USA

(Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)

  • Total Cases:                32,573,436
  • Recovered:                 Not Available
  • Deaths:                        579,572

 

  • Rhode Island

(RI Department of Health, as of May 6th)

  • Total Cases:                149,384
  • Hospitalized:              118
  • Deaths:                        2,685

 

  • Aquidneck Island

(RI Department of Health, as of May 6th)

  • Cumulative Cases:   4797

Includes Prudence Island:  6

  • Deaths                          25

 

  • Staff
    • Active Cases:              0
    • Quarantined:             0
    • Deaths:                        0

 

TODAY’s INFORMATION:

·         REMINDER: Changing Capacity Limits at Public Meetings and Other Events: Tomorrow, May, 7, capacity limits will increase at a number of different venues -- generally 80% of capacity with a 3-foot distancing requirement. An overview is available at https://reopeningri.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/MAY-GUIDANCE.jpg and https://reopeningri.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Protect-Your-Household-Guidance.pdf.  We expect additional/updated guidance, which will be at https://reopeningri.com/.  

 

  • :  Fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear a mask outdoors when they are at least three feet apart from others. Fully vaccinated means you’ve gotten all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 14 days have passed since the final dose.

 

  • Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final recommended dose. A crowded setting is defined as one where someone cannot consistently maintain three feet of distance.
  • People still need to wear masks when indoors in public settings. Additionally, people should keep their groups consistent and avoid crowds whenever possible.

 

  • VACCINATION CLINIC FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL AGE GROUP OF 16 – 18 IN PORTSMOUTH SCHOOLS:  The Town of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth School Department will be working in cooperation to host a local COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the High School age group of 16 to 18 year olds in Portsmouth schools.  The vaccine to be provided is the Pfizer vaccine.  This is a 2-dose vaccination and will require the students to get a second vaccine three weeks later.  The clinic will be held at the Portsmouth High School (New Gymnasium) 120 Education Ln., Portsmouth, RI: 
    • 1st Dose will be held May 7, 2021 from 12 noon to 5 PM
    • 2nd Dose will be held May 28, 2021 from 12 noon to 5 PM

Who is eligible?

  • Students age 16 and older.  If a student under age 16 registers for an appointment, they will be removed from the scheduling system without notification.

Vaccine Information

To Register

 

  • STATE BEACHES SOON TO REOPEN TO FULL CAPACITY:  Scarborough North and Roger Wheeler state beaches will open the weekend of May 15.  Most others will be fully opened by Memorial Day weekend.

 

  • VaccinateRI.org on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. Instead, the state will start posting smaller batches on a daily basis, as well as creating more opportunities for getting a shot without an appointment.  The state-run clinics in Providence, Cranston and Middletown will offer walk-up vaccinations on the following dates and times:

 

  • Cranston (100 Sockanosset Cross Road): Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Providence (Dunkin’ Donuts Center): Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Middletown (1400 West Main Road): Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

  • :  Beginning Friday, May 7, the indoor capacity limit for restaurants, stores, and other businesses and services will increase to 80%. Then, on May 28, the capacity limit will be lifted completely, along with the limit on social gatherings.  Additionally, there will no longer be a cap on the number of people per table at restaurants. 

 

  • Starting next Monday, April 26, spectators outside of student-athletes’ immediate families can attend athletic events, and high-risk indoor sports such as wrestling can resume competition.

 

  • CURRENT STATE GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID:

 

Mask Wearing:

  • Beginning May 7:             Required indoors and if less than 3ft spacing outdoors
  • Beginning May 28:           Required indoors and if less than 3ft spacing outdoors

 

Indoor Dining:

  • Beginning May 7:             80% indoors, 100% outdoors, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Bar Areas:

  • Beginning May 7:              For indoors: seated-only and Plexiglas required
  • Beginning May 28:           Indoor standing service, no Plexiglas required

 

Catered Events:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% up to 200 indoors, 500 outdoors, recommended/required

Testing (required for student catered events), outdoor only: standing bar service and cocktail hours

  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity w/ no cap, indoor standing bar service and

                                                cocktail hours, open dance floors

 

Houses of Worship:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% Capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Retail:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Gyms, Sports & Rec:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Personal Services:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Venues of Assembly:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% up to 500 indoors, no cap outdoors, 3ft spacing

DBR/municipal approval for 2,500 events

  • Beginning May 28:           100% with no cap, 3ft spacing indoors

DBR/municipal approval for 2,500 events

 

Funeral Homes:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Offices:

  • Beginning May 7:              80% capacity, 3ft spacing
  • Beginning May 28:           100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Social Gatherings:

  • Beginning May 7:              Up to 25 people indoors, 75 people outdoors
  • Beginning May 28:           No limit

 

Youth Sports:

  • Beginning April 26:           Expanded Youth Sports attendance; high-risk indoor sports

permitted to have competitions

  • Beginning May 28:           Out-of-state teams can attend in-state tournaments

 

  • VACCINE INFORMATION:

 

  • All Rhode Islanders age 16 may register for vaccinations.  More information about vaccinations, including information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, is available at  https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination.

 

  • Governor McKee has announced RIPTA will be providing free rides to vaccination sites.  People who are interested can get more information by calling RIPTA customer service at 401-781-9400.

 

  • portal.ri.gov between now and Sunday, May 2, will still get an appointment.

 

 

  • VaccinateRI.org.  People who cannot register online can get help by calling the automated line at 844-930-1779.

 

 

  • portal.ri.gov. This help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

 

  • Private vendors have been contracted to provide COVID vaccinations to those who have completed the RI Health Sept Survey at http://bit.ly/homeboundvax.  The three vendors (MedTech, Alert Ambulance and PACERI) have begun scheduling and performing homebound vaccinations.  Residents who completed the online survey may receive calls from one of these three vendors (MedTech, Alert Ambulance, and PACERI) in order to schedule a date and time to receive their vaccination at the address they provided.  We understand some individuals are skeptical of receiving unsolicited calls, especially those who are elderly and have been targeted by scammers in the past.  If you completed the survey and are contacted by one of these vendors, it is a legitimate call and you should work with the vendor to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Please do not contact the vendors directly.  If you or someone you know is homebound, please be sure you have completed the survey at http://bit.ly/homeboundvax.

 

  • portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord.  From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.  If you need a second dose of vaccine, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get your second dose.  Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

 

  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 13, 2021.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.

 

  • On April 26, after the April school break, schools may reduce the distance between students to 3 feet (from 6 feet) and childcare centers may return to 100% capacity. Masks will still be required.  Childcare centers may apply for grant assistance at http://kids.ri.gov/

 

  • : RIDOH is emphasizing the need for continued testing, especially with the prevalence of new, more contagious variants.  More information on testing, including testing sites statewide, is available at https://covid.ri.gov/testing.

 

  • RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS.  Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.  Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
    • 14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons.
    • 10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days.  Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious.
    • 7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days.  Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious.

 

  • AVOID COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS.  As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams:
    • You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
    • You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
    • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
    • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.

Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.  If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to:

 

  • UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD.  The Department of Labor and Training is increasing efforts to detect and combat UI fraud. They have implemented artificial intelligence analysis of applications and DLT is no longer automatically approving applications from employers that pay claims directly (rather than through the UI payroll tax).

 

 

  • PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.

 

  • FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.

 

  • GUIDANCE ON VISITATION TO HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES.  Anyone who isn’t sick can visit people in hospitals after going through a screening process, which is less restrictive than previously when visitors were allowed only for specific reasons, such as end-of-life visitation.  Similarly, visitation will be allowed at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities if the facility hasn’t had any new COVID-19 cases within the past two weeks. Facilities with an outbreak of more than two people are expected to contact the Health Department to discuss visitation guidelines.

 

  • CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.
    • CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive.
    • The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household.
    • It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled.
    • The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.

 

  • THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.
    • PLEASE NOTE:  No longer send donations to Town Hall or mail to Town of Portsmouth for the Food Bank!  Please see below for instructions on how to support the Food Bank going forward.
    • Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.

 

  • Operating Hours:  Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.

 

 

  • To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.

 

  • To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle.

Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.

 

  • To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.

 

  • portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours.
    • Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test.
    • these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible.  RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form.
    • As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island.
    • at this link.

 

  • DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.
    • The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey
    • This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.
    • You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours.
    • The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes.
    • If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at
      401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com

 

INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT

ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES

 

  • EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can be found here.

 

  • TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here.

 

  • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. 
    • You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org.
    • Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.

 

  • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:
    • Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet.
    • Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment.
    • Stay home if you feel sick.
    • Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present.
    • Wear face masks as appropriate.


PERSONAL PROTECTION

  • MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101.


COVID-19 TESTING

  • COVID-19 TREATMENT.  Rhode Island now has a doctor-recommended treatment for COVID-19 that's fast, easy, and highly effective. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment. The earlier you start treatment, the more effective it is.


  • RIDOH QUARANTINE/ISOLATION LETTERS.  Rhode Islanders who require a letter to verify their quarantine/isolation, or their test negative or positive results, may request a letter which may be sent by encrypted (secure) email within 72 hours upon verification by submitting this online form.




  • PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.

 

  • SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online.  Testing is voluntary.  Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841.




  • COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.
    • TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES:
      • MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transport and have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here
      • This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.

 

BUSINESS INFORMATION

  • SMALL BUSINESS LOANS:  The RI Small Businesses Relief Grant Program, which provides $5,000 to RI small businesses affected financially by COVID-19, has begun to accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30.  Additional information and online application materials are available at https://commerceri.com/ReliefGrant/.

 

  • SECOND ROUND OF PPP LOANS.  The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, has re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications.  SBA/Treasury also released accompanying guidance documents; the full statement and these documents may be accessed here.

 

  • BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.

 

  • EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Go to the re-opening RI web site and complete the appropriate event template for your event.  For private events, have a copy of the completed template ready for State official review during the event.  For public events, submit the completed form for review to “Business Development Director, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth RI 02871”   (email rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com ) at least 10 business days before your event.  If you require deviations from the event template, use this form.

 

  • COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to:
    • Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact.
    • Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines.
    • Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening.
    • Review outbreak response plans. 
    • Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk.
    • Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans.

More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805.

 

  • ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
    • The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.
    • These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.
    • EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.
    • Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
    • Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.

 

  • BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.  The Town of Portsmouth began accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants. 
    • More information is available at the Town website by clicking here.

 

  • COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. 
    • The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. 

 

  • 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.

 

 

  • SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts.
  • More information can be found by clicking here.

 

SOCIAL WELFARE

  • EVICTIONS.  If you are at risk of eviction due to non-payment of rent, assistance may be available from agencies such as Crossroads, United Way, and the various community action agencies. For help, you can call 211.
    • Free legal help for low-income tenants is available from:
      • Rhode Island Legal Services: 401-274-2652
      • The Rhode Island Center for Justice: 401-491-1101

 

  • WER1 RI RELIEF FUND.  There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund.  This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The program can provide $400 through a pre-paid debit card.  Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance.
    • All monies in the fund are derived from donations.  There are no State dollars in the program.
    • Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here.

 

  • HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must:
    • Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island
    • Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic
    • Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after
    • Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020
    • Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance
    • Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500
    • Meet household income limits
      • ≤$97,646 for 1-2-person households
      • ≤$112,293 for 3 or more-person households

 

  • MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020.
    • NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264.
    • EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link :
      • 401-414-LINK (5465)
      • For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.

 

  • VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL). Rhode Islanders are able to access a Back to Work landing page and a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months.   

 

  • BACK TO WORK RI.  RI has announced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.
    • Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI.
    • More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/.


  • CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.

 

  • HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.  Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:
    • Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed.
    • A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit.
    • Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs.
    • First and last month’s rent.
    • Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover.
    • Assistance in bringing units to code.
    • Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues.

This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today.

  • For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation.
  • Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria:
    • The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and
    • The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.
    • Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.

 

  • SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart.  Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.
    • For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.  Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address.
    • SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95.
    • To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here.
    • To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.
      • Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here.


  • WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic.


  • VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extends their sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus.  Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.

 

  • COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here.


  • DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  RI 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.)




  • 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.

 

  • STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.

 

  • SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments.
    • There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently.
    • Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.

 

  • ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state.


  • RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.

 

  • PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.  Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd. Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.

 

  • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.


  • HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.
    • Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774.


NEED MORE INFORMATION?

 

  • Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible. Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.

 

  • The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:
    • Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information.
    • 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 401-643-0350.  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:
Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog

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Apr 30

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE April 30, 2021, 1405

Posted on April 30, 2021 at 2:30 PM by Richard Talipsky

COVID-19 UPDATE

04/30/2021

Next update will be issued Friday, May 7th.

 

PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE

Phone: (401) 643-0350

In an Emergency dial 911

Email: covid@portsmouthri.com

All personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential

 

SITUATION TO DATE:

·       World

(Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)

o   Total Cases:                            150,657,884

o   Recovered:               87,710,990

o   Deaths:                      3,168,835

 

·       USA

(Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)

o   Total Cases:                             32,291,267

o   Recovered:               Not Available

o   Deaths:                      575,231

 

·       Rhode Island

(RI Department of Health, as of April 29th)

o   Total Cases:              147,897

o   Hospitalized:            150

o   Deaths:                      2,669

 

·       Aquidneck Island

(RI Department of Health, as of April 29th)

o   Cumulative Cases:   4543

Includes Prudence Island:  6

o   Deaths                       Not Available

 

·       Staff

o   Active Cases:            0

o   Quarantined:            1

o   Deaths:                      0

 

TODAY’s INFORMATION:

·       VACCINATION CLINIC FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL AGE GROUP OF 16 – 18 IN PORTSMOUTH SCHOOLS:The Town of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth School Department will be working in cooperation to host a local COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the High School age group of 16 to 18 year olds in Portsmouth schools.  The vaccine to be provided is the Pfizer vaccine.  This is a 2-dose vaccination and will require the students to get a second vaccine three weeks later.The clinic will be held at the Portsmouth High School (New Gymnasium) 120 Education Ln., Portsmouth, RI:

o   1st Dose will be held May 7, 2021 from 12 noon to 5 PM

o   2nd Dose will be held May 28, 2021 from 12 noon to 5 PM

Who is eligible?

o   Students age 16 and older.  If a student under age 16 registers for an appointment, they will be removed from the scheduling system without notification.

Vaccine Information

o   Pfizer Vaccine.  Click here for information.

o   Click here for FAQs.

To Register

o   Use this link to schedule your appointment.

o   The registration link for the second dose will be given out at the 1st dose clinic after you have received your 1st vaccination.

 

·       STATE BEACHES SOON TO REOPEN TO FULL CAPACITY:  Scarborough North and Roger Wheeler state beaches will open the weekend of May 15.  Most others will be fully opened by Memorial Day weekend.

 

·       DOSES TO BE RELEASED ON DAILY BASIS:  The state is moving away from releasing thousands of appointments on VaccinateRI.org on Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. Instead, the state will start posting smaller batches on a daily basis, as well as creating more opportunities for getting a shot without an appointment.  The state-run clinics in Providence, Cranston and Middletown will offer walk-up vaccinations on the following dates and times:

 

o   Cranston (100 Sockanosset Cross Road): Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

o   Providence (Dunkin’ Donuts Center): Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

o   Middletown (1400 West Main Road): Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

·       PHASE OUT OF BUSINESS RESTRICTION AND OTHER MANDATES:  Beginning Friday, May 7, the indoor capacity limit for restaurants, stores, and other businesses and services will increase to 80%. Then, on May 28, the capacity limit will be lifted completely, along with the limit on social gatherings.  Additionally, there will no longer be a cap on the number of people per table at restaurants. 

 

·       MASK WEARING:  Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health have announced an update to mask-wearing guidelines to align with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.  The CDC’s updated guidance is that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in crowded settings and venues.

 

o   Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final recommended dose. A crowded setting is defined as one where someone cannot consistently maintain three feet of distance.

o   People still need to wear masks when indoors in public settings. Additionally, people should keep their groups consistent and avoid crowds whenever possible.

 

·       SPORTS SPECTATORS: Starting next Monday, April 26, spectators outside of student-athletes’ immediate families can attend athletic events, and high-risk indoor sports such as wrestling can resume competition.

 

·       CURRENT STATE GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID:

 

Mask Wearing:

o   Beginning May 7:            Required indoors and if less than 3ft spacing outdoors

o   Beginning May 28:          Required indoors and if less than 3ft spacing outdoors

 

Indoor Dining:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% indoors, 100% outdoors, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Bar Areas:

o   Beginning May 7:            For indoors: seated-only and Plexiglas required

o   Beginning May 28:          Indoor standing service, no Plexiglas required

 

Catered Events:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% up to 200 indoors, 500 outdoors, recommended/required

Testing (required for student catered events), outdoor only: standing bar service and cocktail hours

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity w/ no cap, indoor standing bar service and

                                           cocktail hours, open dance floors

 

Houses of Worship:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% Capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Retail:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Gyms, Sports & Rec:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Personal Services:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Venues of Assembly:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% up to 500 indoors, no cap outdoors, 3ft spacing

DBR/municipal approval for 2,500 events

o   Beginning May 28:          100% with no cap, 3ft spacing indoors

DBR/municipal approval for 2,500 events

 

Funeral Homes:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Offices:

o   Beginning May 7:            80% capacity, 3ft spacing

o   Beginning May 28:          100% capacity, 3ft spacing indoors

 

Social Gatherings:

o   Beginning May 7:            Up to 25 people indoors, 75 people outdoors

o   Beginning May 28:          No limit

 

Offices:

o   Beginning April 26:         Expanded Youth Sports attendance; high-risk indoor sports

permitted to have competitions

o   Beginning May 28:          Out-of-state teams can attend in-state tournaments

 

·       VACCINE INFORMATION:

 

o   ELIGIBILITY:All Rhode Islanders age 16 may register for vaccinations. More information about vaccinations, including information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, is available at  https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination.

 

o   FREE RIPTA RIDES TO VACCINATION SITES: Governor McKee has announced RIPTA will be providing free rides to vaccination sites. People who are interested can get more information by calling RIPTA customer service at 401-781-9400.

 

o   PREREGISTRATION FOR VACCINE: The state is phasing out its preregistration system since everyone who’s signed up has already gotten vaccinated.  People who sign up on portal.ri.gov between now and Sunday, May 2, will still get an appointment.

 

o   HOW TO GET VACCINATED:The main ways people will be able to get vaccinated are: State-run vaccination centers, designated local pharmacies, and other local and regional vaccination sites, like some hospitals and healthcare systems, community health centers, and other sites in the community. Everyone will be following the same vaccination timeline and eligibility requirements. However, some will move through their priority populations at different speeds due to population size and operational capacity.State Run Vaccination Sites.  Eligible Rhode Islanders  as well as those 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions (to see the eligible underlying health conditions, review the list published by the RI Department of Healthcan register for an appointment at any of the State-run vaccination sites.

 

§  Registering for Vaccination at a State-run Site.  To register to be vaccinated at one of the State-run sites, visit VaccinateRI.org.  People who cannot register online can get help by calling the automated line at 844-930-1779.

 

§  Appointments are no longer needed at roughly 80 CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Stop & Shop pharmacy locations around Rhode Island.

 

o   211 SUPPORT FOR VACCINATION REGISTRATION.  People who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island can now get additional support when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. People can call 2-1-1 to talk to a live, trained person who can offer help in multiple languages when scheduling appointments or signing up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Notification List on portal.ri.gov. This help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

 

o   HOMEBOUND COVID VACCINATIONS STARTED.  Private vendors have been contracted to provide COVID vaccinations to those who have completed the RI Health Sept Survey at http://bit.ly/homeboundvax. The three vendors (MedTech, Alert Ambulance and PACERI) have begun scheduling and performing homebound vaccinations. Residents who completed the online survey may receive calls from one of these three vendors (MedTech, Alert Ambulance, and PACERI) in order to schedule a date and time to receive their vaccination at the address they provided. We understand some individuals are skeptical of receiving unsolicited calls, especially those who are elderly and have been targeted by scammers in the past.  If you completed the survey and are contacted by one of these vendors, it is a legitimate call and you should work with the vendor to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Please do not contact the vendors directly.  If you or someone you know is homebound, please be sure you have completed the survey at http://bit.ly/homeboundvax.

 

o   COVID-19 VACCINE RECORD LOOKUP.   Rhode Islanders can now get a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need a second dose of vaccine, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get your second dose. Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

 

·       PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through May 13, 2021.

o   Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.

§  In person service is by appointment only.

o   The original declaration can be found here.

o   The extension order can be found here.

 

·       SCHOOLS & CHILD CARE.  On April 26, after the April school break, schools may reduce the distance between students to 3 feet (from 6 feet) and childcare centers may return to 100% capacity. Masks will still be required.  Childcare centers may apply for grant assistance at http://kids.ri.gov/

 

·       TESTING: RIDOH is emphasizing the need for continued testing, especially with the prevalence of new, more contagious variants.  More information on testing, including testing sites statewide, is available at https://covid.ri.gov/testing.

 

·       RI QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS.  Quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.  Close contact means you have been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

o   14 Days: Recommended for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and immunocompromised persons.

o   10 Days with no testing: Quarantine at home for ten days.  Released from quarantine after 10 days but watch for symptoms and be cautious.

o   7 Days with testing: Quarantine at home for seven days.  Released from quarantine after receiving negative test result, but watch for symptoms and be cautious.

 

·       AVOID COVID-19 VACCINE SCAMS.  As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams:

o   You are asked to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.

o   You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.

o   Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.

o   Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.

Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to:

o   HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or online at tips.hhs.gov

o   FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at ic3.gov

o   CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE

 

·       UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD.  The Department of Labor and Training is increasing efforts to detect and combat UI fraud. They have implemented artificial intelligence analysis of applications and DLT is no longer automatically approving applications from employers that pay claims directly (rather than through the UI payroll tax).

 

·       EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO GET TESTED.  Every Rhode Islander is encouraged to get tested through the PORTAL.  Individuals do not need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms.

o   TEST RESULTS.  If you have received a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email directing you to the site.

o   COVID-19 SCREENING.  COVID-19 screening is now available by appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov.  

§  Results for this type of test at this location will only be communicated verbally. Testing at this location should only be used as a screening tool for people without symptoms. Rhode Islanders requiring proof of a negative test result for travel-related purposes should schedule a PCR test at a different location.

 

·       PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.  Restrictions in Rhode Island are not easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus cases start going down.  Of the new cases that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to work while sick.  Please call 866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.

 

·       FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS.  The Governor has issued a plea for all Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season.  The goal is to avoid a situation where the flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.

 

·       GUIDANCE ON VISITATION TO HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES.  Anyone who isn’t sick can visit people in hospitals after going through a screening process, which is less restrictive than previously when visitors were allowed only for specific reasons, such as end-of-life visitation.Similarly, visitation will be allowed at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities if the facility hasn’t had any new COVID-19 cases within the past two weeks. Facilities with an outbreak of more than two people are expected to contact the Health Department to discuss visitation guidelines.

 

·       CONTACT TRACING.  The Governor and Public Health Official are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the names of people you encounter.  If you get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have also been exposed to the disease.

o   CRUSH COVID RI APP.  The State has released a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing.  The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play.  The app offers users a way to track their travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive.

o   The latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their household.

o   It is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled.

o   The app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.

 

·       THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.

o   PLEASE NOTE:No longersend donations to Town Hall or mail to Town of Portsmouth for the Food Bank!  Please see below for instructions on how to support the Food Bank going forward.

o   Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.  People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow the signs.

 

o   Operating Hours:  Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to 4 PM to get or donate food.

 

o   Contact the Emergency Food Bank:Call Scott Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email stjohns1foodbank@gmail.com) if you have any questions or need information.

 

o   To Get Food:  Enter the marked food lane at the Food Bank. A Food Bank volunteer will come out to your car to assist you. Please do not park or get out of your vehicle. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide food for one family per vehicle without prior arrangements.  We may ask for some type of identification, but the Food Bank is available to ALL in need and NOT restricted to Portsmouth residents.

 

o   To Donate Food. Donations are most truly appreciated. Non-perishable, non-expired food items can be dropped off anytime between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Wednesday and/or Friday. Bring your donation to the lodge parking lot, follow the signs and a volunteer will come out to your car to receive it. Please do not park or exit your vehicle.

Items needed are such things as: cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or similar.

 

o   To Make a Monetary Donation:  Make checks payable to the “St. John’s Lodge”. Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to “St. John’s Lodge #1, P.O. Box 587, Portsmouth, RI 02871. Please hand deliver cash donations directly at the Food Bank at St. John’s Lodge, 81 Sprague. Gift Cards to area markets will also be accepted and used primarily to purchase needed items for the Food Bank supply.

 

·       OUT-OF-STATE TRAVEL. If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through portal.ri.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours.

o   Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states with a positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test.

o   If you are traveling to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, you must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. RIDOH recommends those people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. RIDOH is asking out-of-state visitors to complete this certificate of compliance with out-of-state travel quarantine/testing requirements upon arriving in Rhode Island and complete this out-of-state travel screening form.

o   As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island.

o   People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link.

 

·       DUE TO THE IMPACTS UPON OUR HOUSEHOLDS BY COVID 19, Portsmouth established a team of volunteers ready to provide families with information and access to essential services.  Residents may seek assistance by completing a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that can be found by clicking here , or may call the WELLNESS CENTER HOTLINE at (401) 643-0444.

o   The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey

o   This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.

o   You may contact the WELLNESS HOTLINE and leave a message any time.  The Center is staffed workdays and messages are checked daily during regular Town Hall business hours.

o   The Team is presently updating its operational guidelines so that it may also serve during other major emergencies such as Hurricanes.

o   If you have questions about this initiative, or like to participate as a volunteer member of the team, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at
401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com

 

INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT

ORDERS, CLOSURES and SERVICES

 

·       EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  All RI Executive Orders can befound here.

 

·       TOWN HALL.  To ensure the safety of town employees due to the risk of COVID infection and in compliance with applicable Governor’s executive orders, Town Hall business is being conducted online or via phone.  In person service is by appointment only, and only if pre-arranged with the appropriate department.  Contact details for each Town Department can be found at the Town website by clicking here.

 

·       PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  Portsmouth Free Public Library has increased its service hours.  Hours are now Monday & Tuesday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM.  Patrons are requested to limit their visits to 30 minutes.  Masks are required and social distancing must be maintained.  7 public access computers are available for use by appointment or on a space available basis.  Browsing is allowed but “Grab and Go” service is also available for those who prefer it.  For further information, please call the Library at 683-9457. 

o   You can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.   Additionally, Portsmouth Free Public Library will fulfill requests for materials and have them ready for “Grab and Go” service right inside the entrance.  Items may be requested via phone at 683-9457 x 2 or via email at porlibref@gmail.com.  The items must show as AVAILABLE in the online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org.

o   Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking lot.

 

·       PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are open.  Portsmouth Department of Public Works will sanitize playground equipment on a regular basis.  Signs will be posted reminding patrons to:

o   Maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet.

o   Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately after using the equipment.

o   Stay home if you feel sick.

o   Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if a large group is present.

o   Wear face masks as appropriate.

 

PERSONAL PROTECTION

·       MASK WEARING 101: HOW TO PROPERLY USE & RE-USE A MASK.  For a mask to offer protection — rather than becoming a vehicle for COVID-19 germ-spreading — it must be handled, worn and stored properly.  This step-by-step video on mask-wearing covers the how-to’s and the do's and dont's of mask use:  Mask Wearing 101.

 

COVID-19 TESTING

·       COVID-19 TREATMENT.  Rhode Island now has a doctor-recommended treatment for COVID-19 that's fast, easy, and highly effective. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment. The earlier you start treatment, the more effective it is.

 

·       RIDOH QUARANTINE/ISOLATION LETTERS.  Rhode Islanders who require a letter to verify their quarantine/isolation, or their test negative or positive results, may request a letter which may be sent by encrypted (secure) email within 72 hours upon verification by submitting this online form.

 

 

·       PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE.  This student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm.  Test can be scheduled by calling (844) 857-1814.  All tests are free and offered same day (except Sunday).  Tests are available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a close contact of a positive case.

 

·       SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. The RI Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing available for first responders.  First responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841.

 

·       RI COVID SELF-CHECKER.  You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or download the CRUSH COVID RI App.

 

·       COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) is recommending anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches (myalgias), chills, runny nose or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or diarrhea) to be tested.  Information for those with and without insurance, and ways to get tested, can be found at the RIDOH Website.

o   TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES:

§  MTM has procedures/policies in place to transport Medicaid and ETP (Elderly Transportation Program: individuals 60 years of age and older) individuals to COVID-19 testing sites. MTM will confirm individuals are eligible for transportand have no other transportation options prior to scheduling a trip. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) or visit their website by clicking here

§  This service is only available if no other transportation options are available.

 

BUSINESS INFORMATION

·       SMALL BUSINESS LOANS:  The RI Small Businesses Relief Grant Program, which provides $5,000 to RI small businesses affected financially by COVID-19, has begun to accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30. Additional information and online application materials are available at https://commerceri.com/ReliefGrant/.

 

·       SECOND ROUND OF PPP LOANS.  The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, has re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications.SBA/Treasury also released accompanying guidance documents; the full statement and these documents may be accessed here.

 

·       BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS.  The RI Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has created a webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here.  Additionally, the State has announced they will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.

 

·       EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID.  Go to the re-opening RI web site and complete the appropriate event template for your event.  For private events, have a copy of the completed template ready for State official review during the event.  For public events, submit the completed form for review to “Business Development Director, 2200 East Main Road, Portsmouth RI 02871”   (email rtalipsky@portsmouthri.com ) at least 10 business days before your event.  If you require deviations from the event template,use this form.

 

·       COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET).  In partnership with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information and identify a primary COVID point of contact.  The purpose is to:

o   Identify each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact.

o   Review important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines.

o   Collect information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening.

o   Review outbreak response plans. 

o   Determine if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk.

o   Aggregate data on companies’ testing plans.

More information can be found here, or by calling (401) 521-7805.

 

·       ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCE PROGRAM.  The U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.

o   The program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.

o   These loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.

o   EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.

o   Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

o   Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email RhodeIsland_DO@sba.gov.

 

·       BUSINESS MICROENTERPRISE STABILIZATION GRANT (MICROE) PROGRAM.The Town of Portsmouthbegan accepting applications for the MicroE program on a first-come, first-served basis on May 27, 2020.  Under this program, eligible microenterprises adversely impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for working capital grants.

o   More information is available at the Town website by clicking here.

 

·       COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY.SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19. 

o   The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/will keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics. 

 

·       HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS.  The RI Commerce Corporation has established COVID-19 Resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Information can be found at RI Commerce Help or by calling 401-521-HELP.

 

·       EMPLOYERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19.  Employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.

 

·       SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court has started a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts.

·More information can be found by clicking here.

 

SOCIAL WELFARE

·       EVICTIONS.  If you are at risk of eviction due to non-payment of rent, assistance may be available from agencies such as Crossroads, United Way, and the various community action agencies. For help, you can call 211.

o   Free legal help for low-income tenants is available from:

§  Rhode Island Legal Services: 401-274-2652

§  The Rhode Island Center for Justice: 401-491-1101

 

·       WER1 RI RELIEF FUND.  There is still money left in the “WeR1” RI Relief Fund.  This is a program to provide cash assistance to undocumented immigrants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

o   The program can provide $400through a pre-paid debit card.  Only one member per household may receive this cash assistance.

o   All monies in the fund are derived from donations.  There are no State dollars in the program.

o   Information regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found here.

 

·       HARDEST HIT FUND FOR COVID-19 MORTGAGE PAYMENT ASSISTANCE. The Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) is offering assistance to Rhode Island homeowners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to make their mortgage payments. HHFRI is offering eligible homeowners a five-year, zero interest forgivable loan to pay up to six months of mortgage payments. The loan will be forgiven and the lien will be discharge if the homeowner continues to occupy the property as their primary residence and does not sell, transfer title or refinance.  Eligible homeowners must:

o   Own and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island

o   Be or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic

o   Receive or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after

o   Have been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020

o   Have less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life insurance

o   Have an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500

o   Meet household income limits

§  ≤$97,646 for 1-2-person households

§  ≤$112,293 for 3 or more-person households

 

·       MENTAL HEALTH.  COVID has been here for months now…and winter is looming.  Mental health issues related to our lock down and pandemic are especially hard for people with depression and other mental health disorders.   The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020, as of the end of October 2020.

o   NAMI, the national Alliance on Mental Health Illness has a 24-hour helpline: 1-800-950-6264.

·       EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES.  If you are in a mental health or substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:

o   401-414-LINK (5465)

o   For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.

 

·       VIRTUAL CAREER CENTER:  The State of Rhode Island and Google Cloud have launched an initiative that will dramatically expand access to key career resources across the state. The Virtual Career Center connects Rhode Islanders to career services on an innovative, data-driven, and easy to navigate online platform developed on Google Cloud and in partnership with the tech-for-social-impact nonprofit Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL).Rhode Islandersare able to access a Back to Work landing pageand a preliminary chatbot named Skipper, to get answers to questions, navigate career resources and access job openings, training opportunities and additional support services. The Virtual Career Center and Career Matching Bot was launched in November, with additional services to become available in the coming months. 

 

·       BACK TO WORK RI.RI hasannounced an investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI – will use CARES Act funding.

o   Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private partnership of Back to Work RI.

o   More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/.

 

·       CHILDREN IMMUNIZATIONS.  There has been a significant drop in the number of children receiving required pediatric immunizations.  All parents are encouraged to contact their health care providers to ensure your children’s shot records are up to date.  There are programs available for those who do not have health care coverage.  More information can be obtained from the RI Department of Health.

 

·       HOUSING NOW CAMPAIGN.  The State of R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has emergency rapid re-housing vouchers that will guarantee rental income to landlords. Tenants pay 30 percent of their income toward rent to the landlord and the vouchers pay the difference of the total rent, directly to the landlord.  The vouchers are available now to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who are living in congregate shelters.Information can be found here. There are specific financial benefits for landlords:

o   Guaranteed rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed.

o   A $2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional participating unit.

o   Up to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs.

o   First and last month’s rent.

o   Housing Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover.

o   Assistance in bringing units to code.

o   Service providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any potential issues.

This is a real opportunity for landlords to do the right thing and help their fellow Rhode Islanders, but also get some economic security during these unprecedented times.  Units in the cities and areas close to public transportation are particularly desirable. They should be ready to rent immediately and be able to meet housing quality standards. If you are a landlord with one or more units to pledge, please call 211 and ask for the housing assistance line today.

o   For households that qualify, United Way’s Safe Harbor Housing Program can help with up to six months of rent arrearages accumulated on or after March 1, 2020. Legal services may also be available for renters who do not otherwise have representation.

o   Help is available for income-eligible tenants who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 emergency and are at risk of eviction as a result. Landlords may initiate the application process on behalf of tenants who they believe to be eligible.  In order to receive assistance, tenants must meet the following criteria:

§  The household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family size; and

§  The household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.

o   Go to Safe Harbor Housing Program https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/safe-harbor-housing-program/.   They may also be reached by dialing 211.

 

·       SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP).  Starting June 10th, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. Households can purchase the same food online that they would normally purchase in the store at Walmart. Rhode Island Works cash recipients will also be able to use their benefits to make food or other purchases at Walmart.

o   For Walmart, anyone in RI can purchase online.Go to WALMART.COM and enter your zip code to check if delivery is available to your address.

o   SNAP benefits cannot be used to cover the cost of delivery at this time. Walmart delivery costs range from $7.95 - $9.95.

o   To learn more about SNAP acceptance at Walmart, please visit here.

o   To learn more and register for online grocery shopping on Amazon, click here.

§  Amazon has free shipping on orders over $35. Additional information is here.

 

·       WORKSHARE PROGRAM.  State employees are being encouraged to participate in the voluntary WorkShare program.  This program offers federal funding to help pay for employees who work fewer hours.  The goal is for between 25% and 50% of the State administration workforce to participate in the program, which would amount to about 1,000 to 2,000 employees and save the state an estimated $5 million.  The decision to reduce employees’ hours — which would translate into two fewer days per week for full-time employees — was spurred by the unprecedented deficit that’s emerged in the current and next fiscal years as revenue has slumped during the pandemic.

 

·       VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER.  The American Red Cross extendstheir sympathy for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they have established a Virtual Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope will help you during this time.

 

·       COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET.  The RI Department of Health has published a very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time.  You can find it here.

 

·       DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION.  RI has established a way for you to get daily COVID updates from her office.  Click here to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.

 

·       NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANTS.  Working in partnership with Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.)

 

·       STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/ or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/.

 

·       SAFE AT HOME.  People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

o   Safe at Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php

o   If you are in immediate danger, please call or text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call (800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island Victims of Crime Helpline.  The Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center.

 

·       STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals.  If you are available to join Rhode Island’s response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode Island Responds and register to volunteer.

 

·       SCAM WARNING.  The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.

o   The scams include people posing as government agencies and representatives to get personal information from consumers, and fraudulent online sales and offers of coronavirus equipment or treatments.

o   There have been a large number of illegitimate unemployment insurance claims recently.

o   Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scammers should contact law enforcement at https://risp.ri.gov/.

 

·       ARTS.  RI has launched a new website, RIArts.org, to connect artists with available resources and provide Rhode Islanders with an up-to-date list of virtual performances happening in the state.

 

·       RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401.462.4444.

 

·       PORTSMOUTH SENIOR CENTER MEALS.Portsmouth Senior Center has established a Meal Site at their address - 110 Bristol Ferry Rd.Meals need to be made with a 24-hour reservation.  Participants can call Cynthia (Director-Portsmouth Senior Center) at 401-683-4106.  If no answer call 401-297-6102.

 

·       CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

 

·       HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODavailable to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.

o   Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.comand enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774.

 

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

 

·       Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0350 for general inquiries related to the current health situation.  Please leave a detailed message if no answer and someone will respond as soon as possible.Residents may also email requests or inquiries to covid@portsmouthri.com.

 

·       The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:

o   Town Website:  www.PortsmouthRI.com – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information.

o   Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic.

o   Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency).

o   Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets.

o   Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0350.  Leave a message and your call will be returned.

o   Email:  Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help.

o   Town Webpages:

§  https://www.portsmouthri.com/AlertCenter.aspx

§  https://www.portsmouthri.com/#spotlight

§  https://www.portsmouthri.com/1594/Portsmouth-Specific-Coronavirus-Informat(and the Quick Links located on the right side of the page)

§  Portsmouth Emergency Man

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