View All Posts

Jun 07

Portsmouth COVID-19 UPDATE April 8, 2020 1715

Posted on June 7, 2023 at 3:21 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:                   1,495,051
  • Recovered:         317,640
  • Deaths:                87,469


  • USA

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

  • Cases:                   419,975
  • Recovered:         22,966
  • Deaths:                14,262


  • Rhode Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   1450
  • Hospitalized:      143
  • Deaths:                35


  • Aquidneck Island

(RI Department of Health)

  • Cases:                   37
  • Deaths                  0


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


  • OUT OF STATE VISITORS.  For clarification, all out of state visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days.  This applies to everyone traveling for non-work-related purposes and includes travelers entering RI for the purpose of using local marinas.  This is specified in paragraph 5 of RI Executive Order 20-14


  • RI COURTS CLOSED.  The state judiciary has decided to keep the courts closed to non-emergency matters through May 17th.



  • RAPID VIRUS TESTING SITE:  CVS 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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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 delivered 218 meals so far. 
    • 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 use 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 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.




·         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 300 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
  • 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


  • PAYROLL 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 today.
    • 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 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.


  • 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.


  • FATHER'S DAY SOCCER TOURNAMENT.  The Father’s Day Soccer Tournament scheduled for June 20-21, 2020 has been cancelled.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 opened 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 



  • 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.