Next update will be issued Thursday,
PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Phone: (401) 643-0350
In an Emergency dial 911
personal identifiable information received will be held strictly confidential
SITUATION TO DATE:
(Center for Systems Science and
Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)
Total Cases: 69,299,369
(Center for Systems Science and
Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University)
Total Cases: 15,483,674
(RI Department of Health)
Island (as of Dec 9th)
(RI Department of Health)
Deaths Not Available
TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:
PAUSE EXTENDED. Rhode
Island’s coronavirus “pause” will be extended for an additional week until Dec.
20, followed by an ease of some restrictions on Dec. 21 while leaving others in
place, as the state continues to set records for coronavirus hospitalizations:
Category TODAY to 12/20 BEGINNING
In Person Schools PreK-8, HS limited, PreK-8 open, HS
ed remote higher
Child Care Open Open
Manufacturing / Construction Open Open
Personal Services Open Open
person / 100 sq. ft. 1
person / 100 sq. ft.
box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.) (big
box = 1 / 150 sq. ft.)
Houses of Worship 25% capacity 25% capacity
of 125 people max
of 125 people
Bar Areas Closed Closed
Indoor Dining 33%
capacity, early closures 50%
capacity, early closures
household / table one
household / table
Venues of Assembly Closed 25%
of 125 people
Gyms and Sports Facilities Closed 1 person / 150 sq.
Indoor Recreation Closed 1
person / 150 sq. ft.
These restrictions present
additional barriers for small businesses, during a time when they are already
struggling. Please shop local this year –
they really need our support.
VACCINE PLAN. Here is the plan for COVID-19
vaccinations in RI:
ONE - December to February
High-risk healthcare workers (e.g. hospital staff, long-term care facility
staff); first responders; long-term care facility residents.
People with significant comorbid conditions (two of more); older adults in
congregate or overcrowded settings
TWO – February to April
teachers, school staff, child care workers
workers in high-risk settings PAGE 2
with moderate comorbid conditions
in homeless shelters and group homes and staff
or detained people and staff
THREE – April to June
in critical industries
who did not have access to vaccine in previous phases.
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.
OF MONETARY RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES AFFECTED BY RI PAUSE:
will be automatic for business that have already applied.
RI Businesses who have not previously applied
have until midnight on Monday, Dec 14th.
Businesses closed or severely limited during the
pause are eligible for a grant up to $50,000.
Grant size will be based on business revenues.
Applications are available at TAX.RI.GOV.
$ Directly to Rhode Islanders receiving
An additional $200 will be distributed to all
Rhode Islanders receiving unemployment benefits during the pause.
DIVISION OF TAXATION MODIFIES RI PAUSE GRANT PROGRAM’S FORMULA. In response to concerns raised by the
impacted business community, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation has modified
the Rhode Island on Pause Grant Program to provide certain industries the
option to report the tax filer’s Rhode Island gross receipts. Businesses
eligible to use Gross Receipts include: Indoor Recreation and Entertainment
Establishments, Gyms and Fitness Centers, Indoor Sports Facilities, and Event
Support Professionals. Click here for more detail.
OF COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS NOW AVAILABLE TO ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS. Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)
announced a new round of $1 million in grant funding from the Coronavirus
Relief Fund (CRF) earmarked for arts and culture organizations. The
application deadline for all programs is Tuesday (Dec. 15) at 8pm. PAGE 3
artists, the funds will be distributed through the Artist Relief Fund. Click here to learn more and to apply.
arts and culture organizations, the funds will be distributed through three
programs. Click on the link to each program to learn more:
§ CRF Grant for Nonprofit Arts and Culture
§ CRF Grant for RI Expansion Arts and
Culturally Specific Organizations
§ CRF Grant for Investments in Arts and Culture
COVID TESTING. Every Rhode Islander can now get tested
through the PORTAL.
Individuals will no longer need to belong to a certain age group or
industry to qualify. The State has also reserved 3,000 more tests daily on PORTAL.RI.GOV for people with symptoms.
o TEST RESULTS. If you have received a COVID-19 test and
are awaiting results, go to https://portal.ri.gov/covidtestresults/s/. You do not need to wait for an email
directing you to the site.
o COVID-19 SCREENING. COVID-19 screening is now available by
appointment at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. Screening at this
location will be done using the BinaxNOW test, which is a type of rapid test
that results in about 15 minutes. Appointments are required and can be
scheduled in advance on portal.ri.gov.
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
ALL RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, OR UNDEREMPLOYED HEALTH CARE WORKERS. The state will again start issuing certain
temporarily medical licenses, repeating action taken in the spring, and anyone
interested in participating is encouraged to visit www.skillsforri.com, or the websites of Lifespan Inc. and Care
ON VOLUNTEERS. The State is calling on volunteers to help in
various needed capacities in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19
cases. People looking to volunteer can
look for opportunities at www.riresponds.org.
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.
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
PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY. The Portsmouth State of Emergency
Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through December 23, 2020.
Town Hall remains closed. Business is being conducted online or via
In person service is by appointment only.
original declaration can be found here.
extension order can be found here.
STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO GET A COVID
TEST. If you work in public transit
or at a restaurant, child-care center, or close-contact business like a gym,
hair salon or barbershop, you’re urged to get tested, along with anyone who’s
recently attended a large rally. Call
(401) 222-8022 or visit portal.ri.gov to schedule an appointment. Here is guidance
for those who need a COVID Test and need to know where to go:
If you have symptoms:
Stay home, and:
Call your primary provider; or
Call a community health clinic or respiratory
If you do not have symptoms:
you fall into any of these categories, you can sign up for a free test at portal.ri.gov:
18-39 years old
Traveling to a state with >5% positive rate
Recently attended a large protest or
you have questions, call the RIDOH COVID Hotline at (401) 222-8022
PLEASE STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Restrictions in Rhode Island are not
easing up during the coronavirus pandemic until numbers of new coronavirus
cases start going down. Of the new cases
that have been examined, many of these people who tested positive had been to
work while sick. Please call
866-487-9243 if your current employer forces you to work when sick.
FLU SEASON AND FLU SHOTS. The Governor has issued a plea for all
Rhode Islanders to get a flu vaccination shot this season. The goal is to avoid a situation where the
flu and COVID are straining our health care system simultaneously.
CONTACT TRACING. The Governor and Public Health Official
are urging everyone to keep track of the places you visit each day and the
names of people you encounter. If you
get sick, you will be expected to give those records to the R.I. Health
Department, so public health officials can track down others who might have
also been exposed to the disease.
COVID RI APP. The State has released
a new update of the Crush COVID mobile app designed to track people’s
locations, monitor their symptoms and connect them with services and testing. The app is named “CRUSH COVID RI” and can be
downloaded at the Apple App store or Google Play. The app offers users a way to track their
travel histories and making it easier for state health officials to analyze how
the disease might be spreading after someone tests positive. PAGE 5
latest update allows users to track and log symptoms for everyone in their
is totally voluntary, and the location tracking is user controlled.
app can be used even if the user opts not to share their location data.
THE PORTSMOUTH EMERGENCY FOOD BANK.
o Food Bank Location: St. John’s Lodge
No. 1, 81 Sprague Street, Portsmouth.
People in need or donating food may come to the parking lot and follow
Hours: Wednesday and Friday 10 AM to
4 PM to get or donate food.
the Emergency Food Bank: Call Scott
Jamieson at 401-835-3819 (or email email@example.com) if you have any questions or need
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic
testing at this link.
USE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
(MEDS) FOR FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATIONS.
When a vaccination for COVID-19 is finally approved, the town has a
MEDS Point of Distribution (POD) plan which may be used to dispense a vaccine
to all people in town. The POD is
partially staffed by Town Department personnel but requires many volunteers to
staff the numerous positions required to operate the POD. Although licensed medical professionals (MDs,
RNs, Pharmacists, EMTs, etc.) are needed, many positions do not require any
medical certifications or training. The
advantage of being a MEDS POD volunteer is you and your immediate family
members get “head of the line” privileges for the vaccine when you report for
your volunteer assignment. There is no
required training and being on the volunteer list is no obligation to serve
when called. If you are interested in
being on the MEDS POD volunteer list, please contact Rich Talipsky
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.
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.
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
CLOSURES and SERVICES
EXECUTIVE ORDERS. All RI Executive Orders can be found here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The items must show as AVAILABLE in the
online catalog at www.portsmouthlibrary.org.
Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the library parking
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
Use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately
after using the equipment.
Stay home if you feel sick.
Avoid crowds and seek an alternate playground if
a large group is present.
Wear face masks as appropriate.
RI METRICS FOR MOVEMENT BETWEEN REOPENING
PHASES. Governor Raimondo announced
four metrics the State will use to determine reopening decisions.
Indicator Move ahead a phase Move back a phase
Hospital Capacity Less than 70% of beds filled 85% or more beds filled
New Hospitalizations Consistently 30 or fewer new Consistently 50 or more new
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
Note: R Value is the rate at which the
disease is spreading from one infected person to another.
The Portsmouth Dog Park is open under the following
guidelines: PAGE 8
The park is limited to 10 total people (family
members included) at a time in the large dog area and 5 people total at a time
(family members included) in the small dog area.
One dog owner and their dog(s) in the entry gate
areas at a time.
All people visiting the park should wear a
personal mask and maintain social distancing.
There will be no water bowls or dog toys
Please DO bring water for your dog but do NOT
bring your own toys.
PORTSMOUTH RECREATION AREAS.
Parks and Beaches are open. Sandy
Point Beach and McCorrie Pt are open to residents only. All patrons are mandated to comply with
social distancing guidelines established by Governor Executive Orders and the
RI Department of Health. Specifically,
patrons must maintain 6 feet of social distance, and everyone must wear a cloth
face covering in all indoor or outdoor public places. Out of state visitors must self-quarantine
for 14 days before any outdoor activity if they have traveled to or from an
area with a current infection rate of greater than 5%.
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 email@example.com or 401-643-0350
if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS. The Governor has directed everyone wear
cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.
Medical-grade masks should be reserved for
health care workers.
RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based
coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the
lower face (such as a scarf).
This measure is not being recommended to prevent
catching the virus. It is being
recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it.
It’s important to wash these face coverings
frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer.
CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be
found by clicking
Here are some additional educational resources
on making homemade masks:
Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie
Make-a-mask no-sew mask
Sew a mask
for a mask
for a mask
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
TESTING FOR RHODE ISLANDERS BETWEEN THE AGES
OF 18 AND 39. Due to recent
increases in positive cases among this age group, RIDOH is urging individuals
between the ages of 18 and 39 to self-schedule a free asymptomatic test through
You may now select "I am part of an age group that has been asked to get
tested" as a reason for requesting an appointment through the online
PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE COVID
TEST SCHEDULING SERVICE. This
student testing service is open seven days a week, from 7:30am to 9:30pm. Test can be scheduled by calling (844)
857-1814. All tests are free and offered
same day (except Sunday). Tests are
available to any student or school staff member who is symptomatic or is a
close contact of a positive case.
SEROLOGY ANTIBODY TESTING FOR FIRST
RESPONDERS. The RI
Department of Health released additional information about the serology testing
available for first responders. First
responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services), Rhode Island
National Guard members, RIDOH staff, correctional facility workers, and
hospital and nursing home staff can schedule a test online. Testing is voluntary. Results will be made available to participants
approximately four days after they are tested. Additional information is
available at https://www.ri.gov/press/view/38841.
RI COVID-19 TESTING SITE LOCATOR. The Rhode Island Department of Health
(RIDOH) advises anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. To find a COVID-19
testing site near you, click
here and enter your ZIP code or address in the search bar.
RI COVID SELF-CHECKER. You can assess your COVID-19 Health Risks
by visiting the RI COVID SELF CHECK site at https://covidselfcheck.ri.gov or
download the CRUSH COVID RI App.
NURSING HOME WORKERS. Rhode Island has partnered with CVS Health
for fast-track testing of nursing home workers at the CVS testing site at the
Twin River Casino in Lincoln.
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.
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
service is only available if no other transportation options are available.
FOR RESTAURANTS AFFECTED BY THE REVISED PHASE III RESTRICTIONS. All restaurants that hold a liquor
license will receive a relief grant from state.
The restaurant must self-attest they have been negatively affected by
early closure. Full details are available at http://www.tax.ri.gov/RICares/.
- RESTORE RI GRANTS. Rhode
Island Commerce has announced major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island
Grant Program - including increasing the size of potential
grant awards up to $30,000 which is a doubling of the original grant
sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit
organizations and private child care facilities that have not received
other CARES Act funding opportunities. If
you can answer “yes” to these three questions, you can apply:
- Are you a small, for-profit
business in Rhode Island?
Businesses must have a physical location in Rhode Island and 50 or fewer
full-time equivalent employees or qualifying independent contractors (no
limit for restaurants and caterers). Sole proprietors and businesses
without employees or contractors (1099s) may now apply.
- Is your business in an eligible
list of eligible industries can be found here.
- Did your business experience a
major revenue (sales) drop due to COVID-19? Businesses must demonstrate a
30% or higher revenue (sales) drop in a month between March and July of
2020 (compared to the same month in 2019, January 2020, or February 2020)
due to COVID-19.
help you apply, please see a checklist here.
here to apply for the
Restore RI Grant Program.
that require assistance may contact the Rhode Island Commerce Small Business
Hotline at (401) 521-HELP. More
information may be found here.
BUSINESS RELATED COVID QUESTIONS AND
COMPLAINTS. The RI Department of
Business Regulation (DBR) has created a
webpage for COVID-10 questions and complaints which can be found here. Additionally, the State has announced they
will be increasing enforcement of current guidelines. DBR issue new enforcement
policies and fine structures which will be posted at their website.
EVENT PLANNING DURING COVID. Use this form for requests
to re-open historical, cultural, or attraction establishments in RI for which
the State requires a formal COVID Control Plan.
COVID BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT TEAM (CBET). In partnership with Governor Gina
Raimondo’s Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Tech
Collective has formed the COVID Business Engagement Team (CBET), a volunteer
task force that is reaching out to local business owners to gather information
and identify a primary COVID point of contact.
The purpose is to:
each company’s primary COVID testing point of contact.
important business centered COVID safety and health guidelines.
information on each company’s plans for testing and reopening.
outbreak response plans.
if each company has classified their employees as low, medium, or high risk.
data on companies’ testing plans.
More information can be found here, or by calling (401)
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.
program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or
loans can provide economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.
assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other
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.
small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should
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
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
In exchange for these supplies, businesses are
asked to show they’ve completed their COVID-19
More information can be found here.
RI DOH RULES FOR ESTABLISHMENTS. For the duration of the state of
emergency caused by COVID-19, covered entities that have establishments that
they wish to open and/or remain open, must take steps to limit the spread of
COVID-19. The Governor is forming an “Enforcement
Task Force,” which will first help businesses understand the new rules. Detailed regulations and penalties for
non-compliance can be found
here. These steps include:
Every covered entity (other than an individual
who is not acting as a sole proprietorship) shall develop and maintain a
written plan for the safe operation of its establishment(s) with regard to
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
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
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. PAGE
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
Any communal areas should be closed, including
but not limited to:
Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks,
storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to
store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc.
Consistent with the Executive Order allowing
travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state
residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed.
Facilities located indoors and all amenities
belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members
and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens.
Sales from a marina retail store are allowed
but must be done by curbside pickup only.
Licensed food establishments can offer take-out
food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses.
All transactions should be done electronically.
COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY. SBA is helping small businesses with their economic
recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
The Portsmouth Business Association Web Page http://www.portsmouthbiz.org/ will
keep you updated on SBA events and other business help topics.
REOPENING RI BUSINESSES. The Governor has shared the information
and factors she’ll use to make decisions about when to reopen businesses across
Has the rate of spread of disease continued to
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
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
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.
can be found by clicking
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.
program can provide $400 through a
pre-paid debit card. Only one member per
household may receive this cash assistance.
monies in the fund are derived from donations.
There are no State dollars in the program.
regarding how to donate or apply for this benefit can be found
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:
and occupy a one-to four family property or condominium in Rhode Island
or have been unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic
or have received unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and
Training or another provider beginning March 1, 2020 or after
been current on their mortgage payment on March 1, 2020
less than $20,000 in non-retirement, liquid assets. Non-retirement, liquid
assets include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, investments and cash value of life
an original mortgage balance no greater than $820,500
household income limits
for 1-2-person households PAGE 15
for 3 or more-person households
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:
LOOKING FOR FULL TIME CASE INVESTIGATORS.
Full time employment as a State COVID case
investigator is available for at least the next six months. Click
here for more information.
NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBCASE. The state will partner with a national
technology company to create a Rhode Island-specific online forum connecting
residents with jobs and training opportunities.
The partnership between Jobcase Inc. and the R.I
Department of Labor and Training will specifically highlight jobs and training
opportunities through the newly launched Back to Work RI workforce training
Rhode Island jobs seekers can join the Back to
Work RI Jobcase page here.
BE SAFE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS ARE
NEEDED. “Be Safe” is a
community response for needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete a form by clicking here to request a
Be Safe Kit containing cleaning/household and safety supplies. If you need additional assistance, please
call 401-519-2283 and leave a voicemail with your phone number and name.
DONATE TO THE BE SAFE CAMPAIGN. Family
Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), a statewide non-profit, is asking for help to
provide supplies to help Rhode Islanders “be safe” from COVID-19. Your donation supports the purchase of
antibacterial soap, disinfecting wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, food and
grocery supplies and other items that socially isolated seniors, adults with
chronic illnesses and disabilities, families with children, and others
desperately need right now to protect themselves and reduce the rate of
COVID-19 transmission. FSRI is doing
curbside delivery of these kits across the state.
Text BESAFE to
44321 or Click here to donate.
EMPHASIS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES. If you are in a mental health or
substance abuse crisis made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and you need
immediate assistance, please call 24/7 to get connected to care through BH Link:
under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465) or click here.
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
AIR CIRCULATION IN SCHOOLS. The Governor’s office is monitoring
school district compliance with necessary air circulation in Schools. More information regarding control of
airborne transmission of COVID-19 can be found at the RI Department of
BACK TO WORK RI. Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced an
investment of $45 million for a workforce development partnership that will
create job opportunities for Rhode Islanders displaced by COVID-19 and help
break down traditional barriers to hiring. The initiative – Back to Work RI –
will use CARES Act funding.
Back to Work RI will offer several pathways for
individuals to quickly get back to work while gaining the skills they need to
succeed. Employers of all sizes will create immediate roles for Rhode
Islanders, focusing on higher-paying, sustainable jobs in sectors such as
healthcare, financial services and IT. Every participating employer will sign a
pledge to open opportunities to Rhode Islanders through the public-private
partnership of Back to Work RI.
More information can be found at https://www.backtoworkri.com/.
UPDATES TO LONG-TERM CARE AND ASSISTED LIVING
FACILITY VISITATION POLICY. Long-term
care and assisted living facilities can welcome visitors again, provided that
they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and
family members safe. More information is
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
EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM. If you are you a tenant behind on your
rent because of COVID-19 or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on
their feet, then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing
Program. Safe Harbor is an eviction
diversion initiative designed to help Rhode Island landlords and tenants
resolve disputes over late or unpaid rent without having to go through the
traditional court process. Find out more
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:
rental income is not dependent on the tenants’ income fluctuating – an
individual will pay 30% of their monthly income and the rest is guaranteed. PAGE 17
$2000 bonus for the first unit and a $500 bonus for each additional
to $2000 for move-in upgrades like minor renovations and repairs.
and last month’s rent.
Retention services, which means fewer vacancies and less turnover.
in bringing units to code.
providers who can assist with screening to ensure a good fit and help solve any
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.
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
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:
household earns at or below 80% of Area Median Income, adjusted for family
household is in arrears because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19
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
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
VIRTUAL FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER. The American Red Cross extends their sympathy
for the loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. Grieving is always difficult, and they recognize
the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs. To help, they
have established a Virtual
Family Assistance Center which offers information and resources they hope
will help you during this time.
COVID SUPPORT FACTSHEET. The RI Department of Health has published a
very informative factsheet for anyone needing support during this time. You
can find it here.
DAILY COVID-19 INFORMATION. The Governor has established a way for you to
get daily COVID updates from her office.
to fill out the request to be added to the distribution list.
NEWPORT COUNTY COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE
GRANTS. Working in partnership with
Newport Partnership for Families and Conexión Latina with funding from Rhode
Island Housing and the Rhode Island Foundation, Church Community Housing
Corporation is offering one-time financial assistance for individuals facing a
short-term housing crisis. Grants up to $2,000 are available. If your
application is approved, funds from this grant program will go directly to
third parties such as your landlord or utility providers. Go to https://www.cchcnewport.org/covid19
or contact Aubrey Collins at Church Community Housing Corporation have any
questions (401 846 5114 x111, or email: ACollins@cchcnewport.org.)
STUDENT LOAN HELP AVAILABLE. Those with
student loans can get assistance in loan extensions and other student loan help
during COVID-19 by going to https://www.meetsummer.org/COVIDRelief/
or by contacting the RI Student Loan Assn (RISLA) at https://www.risla.com/.
HOSPITAL VISITS. Newport Hospital has seen about a 30%
decrease in patients coming in since the start of the COVID outbreak. If you think you need emergency medical
attention, Newport Hospital wants you to know that the emergency room is the
best place to go and that they have taken measures to ensure patient safety.
SAFE AT HOME.
People who are surviving violence in their relationships or families
may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by social distancing
measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Home was launched by the Rhode Island State Police in concert with leading
community organizations to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence
during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those
who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with
resources to identify and help those at-risk.https://risp.ri.gov/safety/preventingviolence/safeathome.php
If you are in immediate danger, please call or
text 911 (include your address in the text). For non-emergency assistance, please call
(800-494-8100) or visit Rhode Island
Victims of Crime Helpline. The
Helpline is a free, 24/7, confidential resource for those impacted by crimes of
violence.?The Helpline is a collaboration between Day One, The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic
Violence and the Blackstone
Valley Advocacy Center.
STATEWIDE CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
CARE PROFESSIONALS. The State is
issuing another call for available medical and health care professionals. If you are available to join Rhode Island’s
response to COVID-19, please visit Rhode
Island Responds and register to volunteer.
WORKFORCE STABILIZATION FUND. The Governor has established a workforce
stabilization fund for congregate-care workers making less than $20 per hour. The fund will allow care facilities to increase
weekly wages for employees making less than $20 per hour.
The Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit is warning
residents to be extra vigilant of scammers trying to take of advantage of the
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/.
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 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
HEALTHSOURCE RI IS OFFERING A SPECIAL
ENROLLMENT PERIOD available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due
to a change in employment status. PAGE 20
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town has established local information on
the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:
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
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
Email: Email COVID@PortsmouthRI.com and your message will be
routed to the appropriate town staff person to help.
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