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Jun 07

Portsmouth COVID-19 Update March 30, 2020 1545

Posted on June 7, 2023 at 3:28 PM by Ray McKenna





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:                   766,336
  • Recovered:         160,001
  • Deaths:                36,873


  • USA

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

  • Cases:                   153,246
  • Recovered:         5,545
  • Deaths:                2,828


  • Rhode Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   408
  • Hospitalized:      41
  • Deaths:                4


  • Aquidneck Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   <16
  • Deaths                  0


  • Staff
    • Cases:                   1
    • Quarantined:     11
    • 72 Hour wait:     0
    • Deaths:                0


  • DISTANCE LEARNING.  RI Public Schools will remain closed and continue distance learning through April 30th.
    • 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.


  • FOOD BANK.  The Town of Portsmouth, RI is currently stocking a community emergency food bank that is designed to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. St. Barnabas Church has graciously provided the use of their parish hall at 1697 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, for the Food Bank.  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 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 10am and 2pm 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 10am and 2pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email 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 with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing.
        • Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment, or
        • Visit the Donation link 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, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing


  • PARKS and GOLF COURSES.  Parks and golf Courses in Portsmouth 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
    • 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 Visiting Nurses.




  • 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.


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


  • STIMULUS BILL.  On March 27, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to be signed by President Trump.
    • Direct Cash Payments: Folks who make less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,200 check in a few weeks, with an additional $500 for each child.
    • Unemployment Protections: The average worker who gets laid off as a result of this crisis will be eligible for four months of full pay. Rhode Islanders are eligible for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
    • 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.
      • 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 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.


  • 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.



  • 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 RIis 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.