Tuesday, August 4, 2020        

Smithfield COVID-19 Response Update – July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

Dear Residents, Businesses, and Community Partners:

I hope you are staying safe and feeling healthy. There are several updates and new information this week from the State and Department of Health regarding COVID-19.

Rhode Island has seen an uptick in cases of COVID-19, which has been linked to house parties and close contact events. This should be a reminder to our residents that the virus knows no bounds. All gatherings must be limited to 15 people or less; people should stay at least 6 feet apart; masks should be worn when distancing is not possible; surfaces should be cleaned frequently; and hands should be washed or sanitized often.

Governor Raimondo announced this week that Rhode Island will remain in Phase 3 until the end of August. An overview of Phase 3 of Rhode Island’s re-opening:  

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Face coverings must be worn in public—both indoors and outdoors—whenever six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. 
  • Frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Social gatherings: Limit of 15 people
  • Out of state travelers: If you are coming to Rhode Island from one of the states listed herewith a positivity rate of COVID-19 greater than 5%, you will either have to self-quarantine for 14 days while in Rhode Island, or produce proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. For more information, visit the RIDOH website.
  • For more information on restaurants, close contact business, and other information, visit: Re-Opening RI

We ask that those using our Town’s outdoor recreational facilities to follow safety guidelines and the signage posted. First, if a person is sick or not feeling well please do not visit our athletic fields or courts. Secondly, people are reminded to please keep 6 feet apart from each other.  Reconnecting with people is important and fights the feeling of isolation, but please do it at a safe distance. Lastly, please wear a face covering and sanitize hands often.  Masks should be worn by spectators when they are within less than 6 feet of others and when walking to and from parking lots and seating areas.     

Commerce RI recently announced that emergency financial grants for Rhode Island’s small businesses will open by Monday, August 3rd. Learn more about the process and sign up for alerts, at CommerceRI Restore-RI.

 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Randy R. Rossi

Town Manager


Testing:

Who should get tested?

  • Rhode Islanders who have any COVID-19 symptoms.Learn how to get tested here.
  • Rhode Islanders who do not have symptoms, but:
    • Are high-contact workers
    • Recently attended a large gathering such as a protest or demonstration
    • Traveled to a place where cases are spiking.
    • You will be able to sign up for an asymptomatic test (if you don’t have symptoms) by going to ri.gov.
  • Recent out-of-state travelers from states with a COVID-19 positivity rate greater than 5%. RIDOH recommends that people get tested for COVID-19 in their home state, if possible. People visiting Rhode Island from out-of-state can find a place for asymptomatic testing at this link.

General Information:

  • Re-Opening Rhode Island’s Economy: For information on the current phase of re-opening, guidance and support, visit: Re-Opening RI
  • COVID Guidance in Multiple Languages: For guidance documents and support in multiple languages, please visit https://health.ri.gov/covid/multiplelanguages/
  • CRUSH COVID RI Mobile App: All Rhode Islanders are encouraged to use CRUSH COVID RI. The app provides Rhode Islanders easy access to all the resources required during the public health crisis, including a location diary that helps users identify the people and places they are in contact with and a symptom checking survey.
  • COVID-19 Governor’s Daily Update: Sign-up
  • RI Department of Health COVID-19 Data: Visit RIDOH.
  • Behavioral Health Resources
    • Adults seeking mental or behavioral health support should call BH Link at 414-LINK (5465). For services for children, call 1-855-543-5465.
    • People with moderate to severe opioid use disorder (OUD) can access telehealth service for initiation of buprenorphine treatment at 401-606-5456.
  • Business Support
    • Emergency Support: Over the next month, the State will be providing $100 million in emergency financial support for Rhode Island’s small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will support small businesses for reopening, adaptation, technical support services, and fixed costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be available by August 3rd, here: Commerce’s website.
    • COVID-19 Control Plan: Must be completed and kept on-hand. Template available here.
    • Department of Business Regulations COVID-19 guidance documents and business assistance can be found on RI DBR. COVID-19 questions or complaints can be asked at https://dbr.ri.gov/critical/.
    • Business Assistance: For business economic support, constituents should visit www.commerceri.com, call Commerce RI at 401-521-4357 (HELP), or email them at info@commerceri.com.
    • Financial Support: For questions or assistance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans dispersed by the Small Business Administration, please email ppp@commerceri.com.
    • PPE for Small Businesses: Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can access a month’s worth of face masks and disinfectant solution from local chambers of commerce and business associations free of charge. Visit Commerce’s website.
  • Child and Family Assistance
    • Summer Meals for Children: For a list of summer food programs near you, please visit: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/about/foodsites/
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are now able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. For more details, visit ri.gov.
    • American Red Cross: Established the Virtual Family Assistance Center to support those that lost loved ones. Visit their website or call (833) 492-0094.
  • Employment Support
    • Unemployment Insurance: Constituents seeking assistance with filing a COVID-19 unemployment claim should first visit ri.gov for information, applications, and factsheets. Contact the Department of Labor and Training Monday-Friday at 401-234-4280 or dlt.covid19@dlt.ri.gov.
    • Employment: Jobseekers should visit RI DBR to find jobs as well as other important resources including information on unemployment insurance, résumé tips, and other COVID-19 updates.
  • Food and Medication Delivery Services
    • RI Delivers: Through the Office of Healthy Aging, RI Delivers connects those in quarantine or isolation with access to food and medication delivery services. To contact call 2-1-1 or the Point at 401-462-4444. Visit RI Delivers
    • RI Thrives is available for deliveries of groceries, medication, and health, beauty & medical supplies. For more information go to: RI Thrives.
  • Housing Assistance and Information
    • Safe Harbor Housing Program: an eviction diversion effort to serve as an alternative to the traditional eviction process and provide landlords and tenants an opportunity to work towards a solution outside of the court system. Tenants who are behind in their rent because of COVID-19 and in danger of eviction, or who have already received an eviction notice, can call 211 to be connected to the program.
    • Renters and Homeowners: For constituents seeking housing-related information and resources, visit: RI Housing
    • Housing Help RI: The statewide homelessness prevention initiative provides emergency housing assistance to very low-income renters who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Visit: https://www.housinghelpri.com/
  • Violence Prevention Support
    • Safe at Home: The Rhode Island State Police launched Safe at Home to raise awareness of the threat of increased violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safe at Home is focused on connecting with those who may be facing violence at home and providing all Rhode Islanders with resources to identify and help those at-risk.
    • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and member agencies are open, as are domestic violence shelters. Those seeking help can call 1-800-494-8100.
  • Additional Resources and Support
    • RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – The Commission now has a website dedicated to COVID-19, with specific information that is critically important to members of the community with hearing loss. The site has videos presented in American Sign Language http://www.cdhh.ri.gov/covid-19/

Questions About COVID-19:

Please visit the R.I. Dept. of Health website for factual up-to-date information or call 401-222-8022. In addition, the United Way is available 24-7 to answer questions and connect residents with resources through their 211 hotline.

Town Manager Signs Executive Order Expanding Outdoor Dining

Restaurateurs: On Wednesday, May 13th, the Town Manager signed Smithfield Executive Order 2020-02 expanding outdoor dining and developing the necessary procedures for a streamlined approval process. Please complete the online application here.

From Town Manager Randy R. Rossi: 
“Today, I have signed Executive Order 2020-02 to expand outdoor dining to accommodate the outdoor dining option for restaurants which is set to begin on Monday, May 18th. The Town is reaching out to all restaurants to provide the necessary guidance and a streamlined process.”
 
Helpful Documents (.pdf)


Submission Requirements

All Applicants must submit the following to rrossi@smithfieldri.com :

  1. A plan showing:
    1. The proposed outdoor service area;
    2. The proposed number of seats (capacity may not exceed the current licensed capacity);
    3. The location of physical barriers or other protection to keep diners separated from other trafficked areas; and,
    4. For restaurants wishing to temporarily convert a portion of off-street parking areas into service areas, a parking plan;
  2. Evidence that the expanded service area is covered by liability insurance;
  3. Where any portion of the proposed area of temporary expansion is owned by a separate legal entity, a written authorization from the property owner; and
  4. All temporary expansions of service areas shall make adequate provisions for parking and the physical safety of diners, and shall be operated in compliance with current:
    1. Social distancing or other applicable regulations issued by RIDOH and/or RIDBR;
    2. All applicable fire codes and provisions of the Life Safety Code;
    3. Applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and,
    4. Shall maintain a setback of at least ten feet (10’) from the front side and rear property lines of the licensed premises, and shall maintain a setback of at least twenty feet (20’) from any property line abutting a residential use.
  5. The hours of operation of any temporary outdoor service area approved hereunder shall be limited to 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.
 
 

Guidance for the Wearing of Cloth Face Coverings at Work

Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-14 prohibited all gatherings of more than 5 people and all non-critical, retail businesses from conducting in-person operations. However, critical businesses remain open and some of their employees must be physically present at the work site, requiring further measures to keep those employees, and their customers/clients safe.

Click the document image below for the full .pdf:

Smithfield COVID-19 Support Fund

The Town of Smithfield has partnered up with John J. Tassoni, Jr. to create a COVID-19 Support Fund to help Smithfield residents who might need assistance.

Smithfield COVID-19 Support Fund

Senior Resources – COVID-19

The Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) is working closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency to coordinate the state’s response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Older Rhode Islanders and individuals with underlying conditions are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Governor Raimondo and the
Rhode Island Department of Health are encouraging our higher-risk populations to practice social distancing during this time and use technology, whenever possible, to remain in touch with family and friends.

Click the image below for the full (.pdf) document

Senior Resources - COVID-19

 

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak (click image for full .pdf document)

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

The Town of Smithfield Uses Code Red Resident Emergency Notification System

 

Click the logo above to go to the registration site

The Town of Smithfield has transitioned to the Code Red Resident Emergency Notification System. Code Red replaces the Nixle emergency notification system and will allow the town to be compatible with state emergency agencies and more communities in Rhode Island.

In the event of a town-wide emergency or a localized geographical emergency, the town’s police department, fire department, emergency management agency or designated local official will be able to call, email, and text thousands of residents at once, notifying them of the emergency and also give instructions if needed. Using mapping databases Code Red can target a notification to a few residents on one street, or expand to any designated area within the town.

Messages regarding the safety, property or welfare of our residents will be disseminated using the Code Red system. These may include local AMBER alerts, locations of shelters for weather events, emergency instructions due to a large fire or chemical incident, boil water advisories, evacuation notices, etc.

Please Register Your Cell Phone
Technology plays a vital role in everyone’s day-to-day life. We know that not everyone uses a house phone today. In Rhode Island, most 9-1-1 calls are made from a cell phone. The 9-1-1 call-out database is compiled of home phone numbers, there is no 9-1-1 database for cell phones. More people use email and texting to communicate and the town wants to ensure that we can use those avenues to communicate with our residents for official information.

We encourage everyone to register with Code Red. To do so click on the Code Red logo above to go to the registration site. Users can register for emergency notifications only and can also register for general notifications as well. Residents should know that the information they provide on the link is safe. Information is not, and will not be, shared with anyone. No one has access to the account but local and state emergency officials authorized to activate warnings and alerts to the public.

register with Code Red

Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry

Enrolling in the Special Needs Emergency Registry lets police, fire and other first responders in your community better prepare for, and respond to your needs during a hurricane, storm or other emergency.

  • Many people may need extra help during a time of emergency including people who:
  • Use life support systems such as oxygen, respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or are insulin dependent;
  • Have mobility disabilities and use a wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, or other mobility device;
  • Are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf;
  • Have speech, cognitive, developmental or mental health disabilities; or
  • Use assistive animals or a prosthesis.

The information submitted to the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry is shared with local and state first responders and emergency management officials. Your information is held confidentially and only accessed to assist in your safety and well-being. The Department of Health and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency have worked with E-911 to notify first responders when they are responding to a household that may have someone enrolled in the Registry. This notification allows first responders additional time to consider how to best respond to that incident. Please note that strict confidentiality is maintained at all times and only those that have a reason to access the information are authorized to do so.

Click here for more information
or to enroll 

Emergency Information

This page will be deployed in case of any type of town, state or national emergency and during severe weather events. 

Should those types of situations occur, this page will be prominently linked from the front page of SmithfieldRI.com for as long as it is required.  

During an event, we will continually update this page – blog-style – as information is received, with the most recent information appearing at the top of the page – please scroll down for more information.  

We will also be utilizing Twitter & Facebook to post this same information.  Other helpful information is posted in the left & right sidebars of this page.

To Follow Smithfield Agencies Online:

Town Government:  www.smithfieldri.com or follow on Twitter @SmithfieldRI or Facebook

Emergency Management:  www.smithfieldema.org or follow on Twitter @SmfldEM

Police Department:  www.smithfieldpd.com or follow on Twitter @Smithfield_PD or Facebook 

Fire Department: www.smithfieldfire.com or follow on Twitter @SmithfieldFire

 

In a power outage, you may find it useful to utilize a smart-phone and follow one or all of these agencies on Twitter.  These accounts can easily be viewed without signing up for a Twitter account and will keep you up-to-date. You can see a feed of the Town’s Twitter account in the right column.