Portsmouth-Specific Coronavirus Information

April 6, 2020

COVID19 Table of Statistics

April 6, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:

  • RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE:  CVS is opening rapid virus testing site at Twin River Casino in Lincoln.  The testing site will be by-appointment only.  Results from test being administered at the site could be ready in as little as 15 minutes.  The site is intended only for RI residents who are over 18, experiencing symptoms, and are required to leave home for work.  More information can be found at COVID-19 testing. 
  • HELP FOR LAID OFF WORKERS.  The CARES Act signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits.  More information can be found at the U.S Department of Labor and the RI Department of Labor and Training. 

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT:

  • TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES:  All Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to call a healthcare provider or urgent care center to get scheduled for a test. Individuals experiencing symptoms must also self-isolate and have as little contact with others as possible.
    • If you are on Medicaid, have been scheduled for a test, and have no available means of transportation you can call Rhode Island’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) manager (MTM) at 855-330-9131.  They will work to arrange a ride for you.
    • Use this service as a last resort and only call if you are eligible.
    • More information can be found by clicking here.
  • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL.  The Governor in conjunction with the RI Department of Health is recommending everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.
    • Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers.
    • RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf).
    • This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it.
    • It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer.
    • CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here.
    • Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:
  • PORTSMOUTH FOOD BANK.  The Portsmouth Food Bank is in operation.  We have been able to deliver 147 meals since Tuesday.  Please see the note below if you need help or would like to donate.
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  Please complete the survey.  More information can be found in the note below.
  • 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:
    • 401-414-LINK (5465)
    • For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465)
  • 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.
  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through April 13, 2020.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.
      • In person service is by appointment only.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions"
    • Track who you have contact with.
    • Stay and Work at Home:
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here.
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.

WE ENCOURAGE ALL RESIDENTS OF PORTSMOUTH TO STAY INFORMED

The Town has compiled information from each day’s Situation Report and divided it into sections for ease of use:  Town of Portsmouth specific, State of RI, and Federal Government.  Please view each section to obtain the most complete information.

All citizens are strongly urged to continue following the CDC’s guidance on hand washing, social distancing, and using cloth face masks when in public. You can read more about those guidelines by clicking here.

Town of Portsmouth Resident & Business Assistance & Information During COVID-19:

  • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL.  The Governor in conjunction with the RI Department of Health is recommending everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.
    • Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers.
    • RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf).
    • This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it.
    • It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer.
    • CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here.
    • Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here.
    • Thank you to the over 100 respondents so far!
    • RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.  The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey.  If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family.  We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed.  If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns.
    • The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey
    • This survey is voluntary and participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.
    • If you have questions about this initiative, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com
  • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  The library is closed but you can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.  Additionally:
    • Tumblebooks is free until August 31st.
    • All fines have been suspended until May 1st.
  • FATHER’S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT.  The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. 
  • DISTANCE LEARNING.  RI Public Schools will remain closed and continue distance learning through April 30th.
    • Distance Learning Plan 
    • Students contact their "homeroom" teacher between 9 am - 9:30 am each day
    • Grab and go breakfast and lunches are available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth Middle School, Monday-Friday, between 9 am - 10:30 am.
    • Any household with a smartphone with Wi-Fi hotspot capability and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will receive free hotspot coverage until May 8th.
  • EXTENSION OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS.  The Governor’s Executive Orders on the operation of food establishments and close contact business have been extended in full force until April 13th.
  • PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY FOOD BANK.  The Town of Portsmouth is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of Portsmouth residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank.  The Food Bank will open for food distribution on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
    • TO DONATE FOOD.  The Food Bank is accepting donations from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.  The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food.  Non-Perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot).
      • Food and food-related items needed include things such as:  cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and  chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards.
    • TO GET FOOD FROM THE FOOD BANK.  Come to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm Monday through Friday and a Food Bank volunteer will bring food out to your car. We are in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot. If you are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10 am and 2 pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs.
    • WANT TO VOLUNTEER?  If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing.
    • WANT TO DONATE MONETARILY?
      • Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or
      • Visit the Donation link stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank,” or
      • Write a Check - Make checks payable to the “Town of Portsmouth.”  Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to Portsmouth Community Food Bank, Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871.
    • FOR MORE INFORMATION regarding the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com.
  • UPDATED PORTSMOUTH RECYCLING EVENTS DUE TO COVID-19.
    • SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 am - 12 noon 
    • ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School from 9 am - 12 noon
      • E-Waste event cancelled.  The Electronics Waste Collection event scheduled for April 11 at Portsmouth High School is cancelled.
    • HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: June 6th at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 am - 12 noon.
    • SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from 8 am - 12 noon.
    • Contact the Recycling Coordinator for specific rules and eligibility: rantaya@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0359.
  • MELVILLE PARK MEETING.  The Wednesday, April 1st meeting of the Melville Park Committee at the Brown House was cancelled.  
  • WELLNESS CHECKS.  The Portsmouth EOC will commence a program for Wellness Checks of all households throughout town.  This program will be conducted online and via a mail campaign and is expected to commence on April 1st.  If you have question about this initiative, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401- 477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com.

  • PORTSMOUTH PARKS and GOLF COURSES.  Portsmouth Parks and Golf Courses remain open.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by the CDC and RI DOH. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations’ COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines.
    • THE PORTSMOUTH DOG PARK is closed until further notice as of 5 pm, March 23rd.
    • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  To reduce the threat of exposure and spread of COVID-19, all Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice.  Parks remain open to recreation that adheres to social distancing guidelines.
  • SENIOR CENTER MEAL SITE.  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.
  • GENERAL INQUIRIES/MUNICIPAL SERVICES RELATED TO COVID-19.  Portsmouth residents may call 401-643-0379 (Portsmouth Emergency Operations Center "EOC") seven days a week, 8 am to 6 pm for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services
  • TOWN ESTABLISHED COVID-19 INFORMATION.  The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:

State of Rhode Island Assistance & Information During COVID-19:

  • RI DELIVERS.  RI Delivers has been established to provide food delivery help for those living in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.  Their goal is to ensure that, for this temporary quarantine period, you have what you need to safely remain home and monitor your symptoms. By doing so, you will help slow the spread of COVID-19.  If you are under quarantine, you should not leave your home for any reason.  Please click here for more information.  If you have a question or need further guidance, call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401-462-4444.
  • OUT OF STATE VISITORS TO RI.  All non-commercial out of state visitors traveling to RI are ordered to self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days. The RI State Police are informing highway travelers of this order.
  • RI RESIDENTS RETURNING TO RI COMMUNITIES FROM ANY OUT OF STATE TRAVEL.  All citizens returning to their property from out of state are ordered to self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days.

PLEASE protect your neighbors and do your part in preventing the spread of this virus.

  • CONTINUATION OF MEDICAID.  The State is halting terminations and income verifications related to RI Medicaid for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • DMV EXTENSIONS.  The RI Department of Motor is granting 90-day extension on motor vehicle expirations that occur in the months of March and April.  More information on expiration date extensions can be found at the DMV Website.
  • SNAP BENEFITS.  anyone receiving SNAP benefits will get an average of $140 extra starting April 1. All benefits will have a six-month extension and will not need to be renewed monthly.
  • GUIDELINES FOR RETAIL AND GROCERS.  The guidelines have been released by the Department of Business Regulation.  They are instituted as of March 26, 2020 at 5 pm. These guidelines are designed to ensure all businesses comply with social distancing guidelines and to maintain a high level of sanitation and employee hygiene in line with CDC guidance.
  • SUPERIOR COURT INITIATIVES FOR BUSINESSES.  The Rhode Island Superior Court will start a business protection program in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. More information can be found by clicking here.
  • 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.
  • FAMILY SERVICES.  Family Service of RI is asking for help to provide items to help the low-income children, families and seniors it serves “be safe” from COVID-19.   Anyone interested in helping should click here or call Maggie Slane at 401-331-1350 ext. 3840 or email slanema@familyserviceri.org.
  • CHILD OR SENIOR CARE.  Care.com is providing three months of free, premium access to their site in support of Rhode Island Front Line workers looking for child or senior care. Those in need should click here.  Additionally, Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers can visit Care.com/rigive register. This program is exclusively for residents of Rhode Island.
  • WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION?  The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection.
  • ASSISTANCE WITH STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS.  The RI Student Loan Authority has announced assistance with RISLA loan payments for clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • THE RI OFFICE OF HEALTHY AGING.  Older Rhode Islanders needing help with food or other resources are encouraged to call The Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) at 401-462-4444 or 2-1-1 during normal business hours.
  • SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF.  Small Businesses seeking relief information are encouraged to call 401-521-HELP (401-521-4357).  More information can be found at Rhode Island Commerce.
  • HEALTHSOURCE RI OFFERS HEALTH INSURANCE.  HealthSource RI is offering a Special Enrollment Period available to Rhode Islanders losing health coverage due to a change in employment status.
    • Rhode Islanders who wish to obtain coverage can do so by visiting www.HealthSourceRI.com and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774.
  • RI DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & TRAINING (DLT)
  • STATE PARKS AND BEACHES CLOSED
    • Governor Raimondo announced all State parks and beaches are closed. Parking lots will be closed until further notice to prevent gathering at these public spaces. In addition, the opening of State campgrounds will be delayed until at least May 1.
  • STATE OF RI INCOME TAX DUE DATE
    • The State of RI has extended its income tax deadline until July 15, 2020 in concert with the federal government, but asks you to file and pay if you are able to do so to provide needed funds to the government during this unprecedented time.
  • SHUTOFF CONCERNS AND EVICTION FEARS
    • The RI Public Utilities Commission has directed all electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Commission to cease certain collections activities, including service terminations for nonpayment. This moratorium extends to 4/15/20 for residential customers and to 3/31/20 for non-residential customer accounts.
    • RI courts are closed for most matters through April 17, so the eviction process is unable to to take place during this time.

Federal Government Information & Assistance During COVID-19:

  • STIMULUS BILL.  On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.
    • Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child.
    • Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
    • Help for Small Businesses: Small businesses will have access to more than $375 billion in relief. The SBA is being given $350 billion. Small companies are eligible for up to $10 million in loans.
    • The Paycheck Protection Program.  This offers businesses immediate access to liquidity through a new loan program tied to prior year payroll.  Loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program are backed 100% by the federal government.  Eligible borrowers will find the lending requirements under the Paycheck Protection Program to be significantly less onerous than those provisions that many businesses found in the SBA’s Disaster Loan program.
      • Congress has passed the CARES Act.  An important part of that legislation which will have a positive impact for businesses is the Paycheck Protection Program.  The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. 
        • Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
        • A sample form can be downloaded here.
        • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
        • The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
  • FEDERAL INCOME TAX DUE DATE
    • The federal government is providing 90 additional days to pay income taxes due, up to $1 million in taxes owed. During this deferral period taxpayers will not be subject to interest and penalties. 
    • The tax deadline for filing has been extended from April 15th to July 15, 2020.
    • https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
  • CENSUS INFORMATION.  The United States Census is adapting or delaying some operations to protect the health and safety of their staff and the public.  Information can be found here: 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19.
  • NEW REAL ID DEADLINE.  The October 1, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver’s licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back.  The new deadline is October 1, 2021.

April 5, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:

  • TRANSPORTATION TO COVID-19 TEST SITES:  All Rhode Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to call a healthcare provider or urgent care center to get scheduled for a test. Individuals experiencing symptoms must also self-isolate and have as little contact with others as possible.
    • If you are on Medicaid, have been scheduled for a test, and have no available means of transportation you can call Rhode Island’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) manager (MTM) at 855-330-9131.  They will work to arrange a ride for you.
    • Use this service as a last resort and only call if you are eligible.
    • More information can be found by clicking here.

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT:

  • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL.  The Governor in conjunction with the RI Department of Health is recommending everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.
    • Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers.
    • RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf).
    • This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it.
    • It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer.
    • CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here.
    • Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:
  • TOWN COUNCIL MEETING.  The Portsmouth Town Council meeting scheduled for April 6th, will be held remotely.  The 7:00 PM meeting will be live streamed.  People can participate on the web or by phone dial-in using the Zoom remote meeting service.  The agenda and instructions for calling or logging in to participate can be found by clicking here.
  • PORTSMOUTH FOOD BANK.  The Portsmouth Food Bank is in operation.  We have been able to deliver 147 meals since Tuesday.  Please see the note below if you need help or would like to donate.
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  Please complete the survey.  More information can be found in the note below.
  • 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:
    • 401-414-LINK (5465)
    • For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465)
  • 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.
  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through April 13, 2020.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.
      • In person service is by appointment only.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions"
    • Track who you have contact with.
    • Stay and Work at Home:
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here.
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.

April 4, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

TODAY’s NEW INFORMATION:

  • CLOTH-BASED FACE MASKS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL.  The Governor in conjunction with the RI Department of Health is recommending everyone wear cloth-based coverings for their mouths and noses while out in public.
    • Medical-grade masks should be reserved for health care workers.
    • RI DOH is advising people to secure cloth-based coverings to the head with ties or straps, "or simply wrapped around the lower face (such as a scarf).
    • This measure is not being recommended to prevent catching the virus.  It is being recommended as a measure to help prevent anyone from spreading it.
    • It’s important to wash these face coverings frequently in hot water and detergent, and to dry them in a hot dryer.
    • CDC Guidance and homemade mask tutorials can be found by clicking here.
    • Here are some additional educational resources on making homemade masks:

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED INFORMATION WHICH IS STILL CURRENT:

  • TOWN COUNCIL MEETING.  The Portsmouth Town Council meeting scheduled for April 6th, will be held remotely.  The 7:00 PM meeting will be live streamed.  People can participate on the web or by phone dial-in using the Zoom remote meeting service.  The agenda and instructions for calling or logging in to participate can be found by clicking here.
  • PORTSMOUTH FOOD BANK.  The Portsmouth Food Bank is in operation.  We have been able to deliver 147 meals since Tuesday.  Please see the note below if you need help or would like to donate.
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  Please complete the survey.  More information can be found in the note below.
  • 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:
    • 401-414-LINK (5465)
    • For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465)
  • 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.
  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through April 13, 2020.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.
      • In person service is by appointment only.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions"
    • Track who you have contact with.
    • Stay and Work at Home:
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here.
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.

April 3, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

KEY MESSAGES FOR THE PUBLIC

  • TOWN COUNCIL MEETING.  The Portsmouth Town Council meeting scheduled for April 6th, will be held remotely.  The 7:00 PM meeting will be live streamed.  People can participate on the web or by phone dial-in using the Zoom remote meeting service.  The agenda and instructions for calling or logging in to participate can be found by clicking here.
  • PORTSMOUTH FOOD BANK.  The Portsmouth Food Bank is in operation.  We have been able to deliver 147 meals since Tuesday.  Please see the note below if you need help or would like to donate.
  • 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:
    • 401-414-LINK (5465)
    • For under 18 call: 855-KID-LINK (855-543-5465)
  • PORTSMOUTH LIBRARY.  The library is closed but you can still download books and audio.  Find out more here.  Additionally:
    • Tumblebooks is free until August 31st.
    • All fines have been suspended until May 1st.
  • 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.
  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through April 13, 2020.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.
      • In person service is by appointment only.
  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PLAN.  Congress has passed the CARES Act.  An important part of that legislation which will have a positive impact for businesses is the Paycheck Protection Program.  The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. 
    • Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
    • A sample form can be downloaded here.
    • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
    • The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need. More information can be found by clicking here.
    •  Thank you to the over 100 respondents so far!
    • RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.  The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey.  If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family.  We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed.  If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns.
    • The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey
    • This survey is voluntary and participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.
    • If you have questions about this initiative, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com
  • STATE PARKS AND BEACHES CLOSED.  Governor Raimondo announced all State parks and beaches are closed, effective Friday. Starting Friday, parking lots will be closed until further notice to prevent gathering at these public spaces. In addition, the opening of State campgrounds will be delayed until at least May 1.
    • PORTSMOUTH PARKS and GOLF COURSES.  Portsmouth Parks and Golf Courses remain open.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by the CDC and RI DOH. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations’ COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines.
    • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions."
    • Track who you have contact with:  Governor and RI DOH have made a plea to all Rhode Islanders to limit contact with others as much as possible.  To help the DOH conduct vector analysis of the virus’ spread, residents are also being asked to keep track of their daily contacts.  This will help the DOH conduct contact mapping and alert people who may have unknowingly been exposed.
    • Staying and Working at Home:
      • All Rhode Island residents are required to stay home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities (food, medicine, gas, etc.).
      • Any Rhode Island employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work from-home arrangements. This provision shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
      • All gatherings of more than five (5) people in any public or private space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, library, theater, place of worship, parade, fair, festival, park or beach, are prohibited
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
      • Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all non-critical retail businesses shall cease in person operations.
      • Critical retail businesses include, but are not limited to, food and beverage stores (e.g., supermarkets, liquor, specialty food, and convenience stores, farmers’ markets, food banks and pantries), pharmacies and medical supply stores, compassion centers, pet supply stores, printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, gas stations, laundromats, electronics and telecommunications stores, office supply, industrial and agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, funeral homes, auto repair and supply, banks and credit unions, firearms stores, healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores, and other stores and businesses identified as critical by the Department of Business Regulation.
      • Restaurants will be permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous executive orders.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
      • This quarantine restriction shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here. 
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.

April 2, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

KEY MESSAGES FOR THE PUBLIC

  • PORTSMOUTH STATE OF EMERGENCY.  The Portsmouth State of Emergency Declaration issued March 16, 2020 has been extended through April 13, 2020.
    • Town Hall remains closed.  Business is being conducted online or via phone.
      • In person service is by appointment only.
  • PAYCHECK PROTECTION PLAN.  Congress has passed the CARES Act.  An important part of that legislation which will have a positive impact for businesses is the Paycheck Protection Program.  The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. 
    • Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
    • A sample form can be downloaded here.
    • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
    • The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need.
    • RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.  The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey.  If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family.  We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed.  If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns.
    • The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey
    • This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.
    • If you have questions about this initiative, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com
  • FATHER’S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT.  The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled. 
  • STATE PARKS AND BEACHES CLOSED.  Governor Raimondo announced all State parks and beaches are closed, effective Friday. Starting Friday, parking lots will be closed until further notice to prevent gathering at these public spaces. In addition, the opening of State campgrounds will be delayed until at least May 1.
    • PORTSMOUTH PARKS and GOLF COURSES.  Portsmouth Parks and Golf Courses remain open.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by the CDC and RI DOH. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations’ COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines.
    • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice.
  • CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing a 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.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions."
    • Track who you have contact with:  Governor and RI DOH have made a plea to all Rhode Islanders to limit contact with others as much as possible.  To help the DOH conduct vector analysis of the virus’ spread, residents are also being asked to keep track of their daily contacts.  This will help the DOH conduct contact mapping and alert people who may have unknowingly been exposed.
    • Staying and Working at Home:
      • All Rhode Island residents are required to stay home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities (food, medicine, gas, etc.).
      • Any Rhode Island employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work from-home arrangements. This provision shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
      • All gatherings of more than five (5) people in any public or private space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, library, theater, place of worship, parade, fair, festival, park or beach, are prohibited
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
      • Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all non-critical retail businesses shall cease in person operations.
      • Critical retail businesses include, but are not limited to, food and beverage stores (e.g., supermarkets, liquor, specialty food, and convenience stores, farmers’ markets, food banks and pantries), pharmacies and medical supply stores, compassion centers, pet supply stores, printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, gas stations, laundromats, electronics and telecommunications stores, office supply, industrial and agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, funeral homes, auto repair and supply, banks and credit unions, firearms stores, healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores, and other stores and businesses identified as critical by the Department of Business Regulation.
      • Restaurants will be permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous executive orders.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
      • This quarantine restriction shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here. 
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.

April 1, 2020 - Situation Report Notes From Town Administrator Richard Rainer on COVID-19

KEY MESSAGES FOR THE PUBLIC

  • PORTSMOUTH COVID-19 WELLNESS SURVEY.  In an effort to ensure our residents are safe and secure, and to provide them information and access to essential services, the Town of Portsmouth is sending every household a COVID-19 Wellness Survey that, if completed and returned, will help the Town identify those in need.
    • RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.  The Town urges every household, even if assistance is not needed, to please take a minute to complete and return the survey.  If you do not return it, the Town will not know the COVID-19 impact upon you or your family.  We are seeking 100% participation so that no family with a need is missed.  If a home needs assistance, the Town intends to contact the home to assess their welfare concerns.
    • The survey may also be completed online at https://bit.ly/PEMA-COV19-Wellness-Survey
    • This survey is voluntary participation is optional, but we highly encourage responses.
    • If you have questions about this initiative, please feel free to call Ray Perry, CEM, our Town Emergency Manager, at 401-477-2172 or e-mail him at COVID@portsmouthri.com
  • 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.
  • STATE PARKS AND BEACHES CLOSED.  Governor Raimondo announced all State parks and beaches are closed, effective Friday. Starting Friday, parking lots will be closed until further notice to prevent gathering at these public spaces. In addition, the opening of State campgrounds will be delayed until at least May 1.
    • PORTSMOUTH PARKS and GOLF COURSES.  Portsmouth Parks and Golf Courses remain open.  All patrons are mandated to comply with social distancing guidelines established by the CDC and RI DOH. The Portsmouth EOC is coordinating with Golf Courses to ensure safe operations and best practices are shared across all Aquidneck Island Courses, to include compliance with State and National Golf Associations’ COVID 19 Safety Operating Guidelines.
    • PORTSMOUTH PLAYGROUNDS.  Portsmouth Playgrounds are closed until further notice.
  • CALL FOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  The State is issuing a 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.
  • RI IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER.  The Governor signed Executive Order 20-13 – “Staying at Home, Reducing Gatherings, Certain Retail Business Closures and Further Quarantine Provisions."
    • Track who you have contact with:  Governor and RI DOH have made a plea to all Rhode Islanders to limit contact with others as much as possible.  To help the DOH conduct vector analysis of the virus’ spread, residents are also being asked to keep track of their daily contacts.  This will help the DOH conduct contact mapping and alert people who may have unknowingly been exposed.
    • Staying and Working at Home:
      • All Rhode Island residents are required to stay home unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities (food, medicine, gas, etc.).
      • Any Rhode Island employer with employees who live in other states shall use all means available to enable these employees to telecommute or make other work from-home arrangements. This provision shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • No gatherings larger than 5 people.
      • All gatherings of more than five (5) people in any public or private space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, library, theater, place of worship, parade, fair, festival, park or beach, are prohibited
    • All non-critical retail businesses must close until April 13.
      • Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all non-critical retail businesses shall cease in person operations.
      • Critical retail businesses include, but are not limited to, food and beverage stores (e.g., supermarkets, liquor, specialty food, and convenience stores, farmers’ markets, food banks and pantries), pharmacies and medical supply stores, compassion centers, pet supply stores, printing shops, mail and delivery stores and operations, gas stations, laundromats, electronics and telecommunications stores, office supply, industrial and agricultural/seafood equipment and supply stores, hardware stores, funeral homes, auto repair and supply, banks and credit unions, firearms stores, healthcare and public safety professional uniform stores, and other stores and businesses identified as critical by the Department of Business Regulation.
      • Restaurants will be permitted to operate only for pickup, drive-through, and delivery in accordance with previous executive orders.
    • Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
      • This quarantine restriction shall not apply to public health, public safety, or healthcare workers.
    • All RI Executive orders can be found by clicking here. 
  • THERE IS STILL A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.  If you are a researcher, supplier, manufacturer, business, organization, or individual in possession of needed items and willing to donate or sell them, please visit COVID 19 Medical Supply Donations.
    • A Protective Equipment Team was established under Portsmouth’s lead, and is locating sources N-95 masks and other needed items for local emergency response and Health Workers.  Please contact us at covid@portsmouthri.com or 401-643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.
    • We are very thankful to and for the donations of PPE to the Portsmouth EOC.  In addition to supporting our first responders, the EOC has delivered donated PPE gear to the Portsmouth Fire Department and Visiting Nurses.