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Mar 29

Portsmouth COVID-19 SITREP March 29, 2020 1545

Posted on March 29, 2020 at 3:46 PM by Richard Talipsky





Phone: (401) 643-0379

In an Emergency dial 911



SITUATION TO DATE (Numbers are cumulative):

  • World

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

  • Cases:                   710,918
  • Recovered:         148,900
  • Deaths:                33,551


  • USA

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

  • Cases:                   135,499
  • Recovered:         2,612
  • Deaths:                2,381


  • Rhode Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   294
  • Hospitalized:      35
  • Deaths:                3


  • Aquidneck Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   <16
  • Deaths                  0


  • Staff
    • Cases:                   1
    • Quarantined:     10
    • 72 Hour wait:     0
    • Deaths:                0


  • PORTSMOUTH EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.  A Portsmouth Firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19.  The firefighter and employees who interacted with this firefighter have been placed in a 14-day self-quarantine.
    • There is no current impact on our public safety readiness or ability to serve the Town
    • At the outset of this crises every Town department prepared continuity of operations plans – to include a plan to continue providing services in the event employees contract the virus.
    • We are acting out of an abundance of caution and following CDC and RI DOH guidelines.


  • OUT OF STATE VISITORS.  All non-commercial out of state visitors traveling to RI are ordered to self-quarantine upon arrival.  The RI State Police are informing highway travelers of this order.


  • CHILD CARE LICENSES SUSPENDED.  The Governor announced today that all childcare licenses will be suspended for a week until April 4th starting tomorrow.  This order will be reviewed weekly throughout the crisis.  Rhode Island residents interested in becoming caregivers to help people affected by this order are urged to visit and register at  


  • 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.


  • 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.
    • 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.


  • DISTANCE LEARNING.  The Governor will make a special announcement regarding Public K-12 schools on Monday.


  • 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 or (401) 643-0379 if you can help us source these much needed supplies.




  • 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 Payroll Protection Program.  This offers businesses immediate access to liquidity through a new loan program tied to prior year payroll.  Loans made under the Payroll Protection Program are backed 100% by the federal government.  Eligible borrowers will find the lending requirements under the Payroll Protection Program to be significantly less onerous than those provisions that many businesses found in the SBA’s Disaster Loan program.


  • NEW REAL ID DEADLINE.  The October 1st, 2020 deadline requiring citizens have Real ID compliant driver's licenses and other identification cards in order to board an airplane has been pushed back.  The new deadline is October 1, 2021.


    • SHREDDING: August 8, at Clements’ Market from 9 a.m. - 12 noon
    • ELECTRONIC WASTE COLLECTIONS: June 13; Sept. 12; Nov.14 - at Portsmouth High School from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • HARD PLASTIC COLLECTION: June 6th at Portsmouth Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • SCRAP METAL COLLECTION: July 18th at Portsmouth Transfer Station (Lower Area) from

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.


  • MELVILLE PARK MEETING.  The Wednesday, April 1st meeting of the Melville Park Committee at the Brown House is cancelled.  


  • SNAP Benefits.  anyone receiving SNAP benefits will get an extra $140 starting April 1. All benefits will have a six-month extension and will not need to be renewed monthly.


  • E-Waste event cancelled.  The Electronics Waste Collection event schedules for April 11 at Portsmouth High School is cancelled.  Information on future Portsmouth Events can be found at the Town website or by clicking here.


  • 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


  • 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 5:00 PM.  These guidelines are designed to ensure all businesses to comply with social distancing guidelines and to maintain a high level of sanitation and employee hygiene in line with CDC guidance.


  • 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


  • Employees and Employers affected by COVID-19.  Employees out of work or unable to work, or employers forced to limit or cease operations due to COVID-19 should review the RI Department of Labor and Training Website for relief options.  Quick facts are located here.
  • People returning to communities in Rhode Island from out of state.  All citizens returning to their property from out of state are urged to follow strict adherence to WHO, CDC, and RI DOH COVID-19 guidelines and self-quarantine upon arrival for 14 days.  Please protect your neighbors and do your part in preventing the spread of this virus. 


  • 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.


  • Portsmouth Food Bank.  The Town of Portsmouth is establishing a community emergency food bank to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 situation.  The Food Bank is being established at the St. Barnabas Church Parish Hall (1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth).  To establish the Food Bank, the Town is requesting that DONATIONS ONLY be accepted between 8 AM and 4 PM starting Wednesday March 25th through Monday March 30th.   A schedule for continuing donations after March 30th will be released soon.



  • All citizens are strongly urged to continue following the CDC’s guidance on handwashing and social distancing. You can read more about those guidelines by clicking here.


  • Grab and go breakfast and lunches will be available for all Portsmouth students in the main foyer of Portsmouth Middle School, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 9:00-10:30am.


  • 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 and enrolling online, or by contacting the HealthSource RI call center Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm at 1-855-840-4774.


  • The RI Office of Innovation has released a digital reference guide aimed to help those without home internet connection.



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Small Businesses seeking relief information are encouraged to call (401) 521-HELP.  More information can be found as Rhode Island Commerce.


  • Portsmouth residents may call (401) 643-0379 seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for general inquiries related to the current health situation or for accessing municipal services

Residents may also email requests or inquiries to


  • The town has established local information on the town website, its NOTIFY ME system, and social media as follows:
    • Town Website: – See the COVID-19 Alert at the top and the “Spotlight” section that will direct users to other town web pages with specific COVID-19 information.
    • Notify Me®:  Sign up for automatic e-mail updates.  On the town web home page click the “Notify Me®” button and choose your topic.
    • Facebook:  Log on to the town Emergency Management Facebook page (Portsmouth Emergency).
    • Twitter:  Log on to the Portsmouth Emergency Twitter feed - @PortsmouthEmerg and use Hashtag #COVID02871 for Portsmouth-specific tweets.
    • Phone: The Emergency Operations Center phone number is 401-643-0379.  A volunteer is ready to assist you.  If you cannot get through, use email.  We will get back to you.
    • Email:  Email and your message will be routed to the appropriate town staff person to help.
    • Town Webpages:


§  Portsmouth Emergency Management Blog


·         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.


  • The Portsmouth Dog Park will be closed until further notice starting 5:00 p.m. today, March 23, 2020.


  • Notification and reminders regarding current Executive Orders to registered short-term-rental properties
  • RI EMA Cost Tracking (ongoing)
  • Continue to identify food needs of special needs population
    • Establish emergency food pantry and procedures
  • Continue daily tele-conferences with Governor’s Office / RI DOH / RI Municipal Leaders
  • Test streaming and remote participation capability for Town Hall meetings.
  • A Public Hotline for local COVID-19 related support to Portsmouth Residents is expected to be operational on April 1st.
  • The MEDS POD is being readied for possible deployment.