Sunday, July 5, 2020        

Smithfield COVID-19 Response Update – June 8, 2020

Dear Residents, Businesses, and Community Partners:

Rhode Island has continued to make progress in flattening the COVID-19 curve. However, we unfortunately continue to lose loved-ones to this virus. We extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.

Phase 2 of the re-opening of the economy has allowed many of our small businesses to re-open.  We appreciate the efforts of local businesses to understand and implement the new regulations to keep us all safe. We also appreciate residents and visitors following state guidelines and the new processes established at businesses, parks, beaches and other locations. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

While our economy is slowly re-opening, it is still critically important that we continue to keep our groups small, wear face coverings, avoid large crowds, and constantly wash our hands. Please familiarize yourself with the re-opening guidelines: Re-Opening RI.

At the same time, our country is also battling another enemy; racism and injustice. Our hearts have been broken and filled with anger and rage. Our country is facing another defining moment. We must rise to the occasion to repair and rebuild a society that guarantees freedom, justice and opportunity for all Americans. We must, and will, do better.

Shop, Eat Local

Small businesses are the backbone of our community. The Town encourages those that can to shop local. Stop by a local store rather than ordering online; make a reservation to dine at one of our local restaurants, or order takeout to enjoy at home. Local businesses have worked hard to implement statewide re-opening guidelines.  Here at Town Hall, we are working hard as well to make sure that we are providing support for our local businesses. If you are a local business that has questions or needs assistance, please call (401) 233-1010. 

Statewide Guidance:

As a reminder, all residents and visitors must adhere to the following:

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home and self-isolate.
  • When people are in public, they should wear a cloth face covering.
    • A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It could be sewn by hand or improvised from household items such as scarves, T-shirts, or bandanas.
  • Groups of no more than 15 people.
    • Always avoid close personal contact with other people in public.
  • 14-day quarantine for international and domestic air travel or those traveling from states with stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders
  • Download the Crush COVID-19 app, or keep a personal log of the people you have come in contact with every day.
    • This will assist the Dept. of Health to trace your contacts in the event that you contract COVID-19.

Local Updates:

As a reminder, our Town staff are also here to help. The Smithfield Town Hall and all other municipal buildings are closed to public traffic until further notice.  All departments are currently operating and all staff will be available by phone, email, or drop box located in the front of Town Hall.

Due to the current situation and the size of our beach facilities, we will not be able to open the Town beaches this year.  The boat launch at Georgiaville Beach will be open and stickers will not be required for parking or launching. 

At the current time, we have delayed the submission and release of the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget in order to further develop a lean budget and obtain necessary revenue information.  Additionally, the Public Hearing on the budget and the Financial Town Meeting have been postponed at this time and we will provide an update when more information is available.  First and foremost, we are committed to lessening the burden on our residents and local businesses. This will be a very difficult budget year and we will have to get creative to continue to provide top-notch services to our residents. We are also closely tracking the state budget process and federal stimulus which will affect us locally. 

We expect that our Financial Town Meeting will look different this year in light of COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings. For the past few months, we have been working with other communities, the League of Cities and Towns, and the Governor’s Office to determine the best way to proceed while balancing the need for transparency and local decision making with the health and safety of our residents.  As we receive additional guidance and a plan is approved, we will provide further updates.   

Important Information: 

If you are feeling sick and exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, visit the Department of Health’s self-checker and schedule a test:

  • Call your healthcare provider (if you have one) to get an order for a COVID-19 test at one of the drive-up testing sites.

Or

  • Call a Respiratory Clinic View. View all locations here.

Or

  • Go to the CVS website to be pre-screened for testing and to get an appointment (adult 18+ only). 

COVID-19 has affected all corners of our community in some way. There is assistance available for families, mental health needs, those unemployed, and businesses. 

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 RIDOH.
  • CRUSH COVID RI Mobile App: All Rhode Islanders are encouraged to use CRUSH COVID RI, a pandemic response mobile app that’s available on smartphones. 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. Download the CRUSH COVID RI app now in the Apple App Store and Google Play to step up and help RI #CrushCovidRI.
  • 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 (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
    • Reopening the Economy: For constituents seeking assistance with the reopening of the economy, guidance documents for childcare, faith-based organization, retail, restaurants, and transit can be found on Re-Opening RI
    • COVID-19 Control Plan: Must be completed and kept on-hand. Template available at Re-Opening RI – Resources.
    • Department of Business Regulations COVID-19 guidance documents and business assistance can be found on RI Dept. of Business Regulations. COVID-19 questions or complaints can be asked at DBR RI – 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.
    • Tech Help: If a business needs help getting online, creating a website, moving to online marketing or ordering, or accessing laptops, they can access free tech help through RI Commerce. Visit Commerce RI Business Resources
    • 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 RI.
  • Child and Family Assistance
    • American Red Cross: Established the Virtual Family Assistance Center to support those that lost loved ones. Visit Red Cross.org or call (833) 492-0094.
    • Family Care Community Partnerships (FCCPs): The RI Department of Children, Youth and Families’ recognizes that all families struggle and need supports they can turn to from time to time, including basic needs, bridging family rifts, and increasing the overall well-being of families. FCCP agencies bring community-based services to children and families to build a stronger, brighter futures. For more information, or to contact your local FCCP, please visit DCYF RI 
  • Employment Support
  • Unemployment Insurance: Constituents seeking assistance with filing a COVID-19 unemployment claim should first visit RIDLT for information, applications, and factsheets. Contact the Department of Labor and Training Monday-Friday at (401) 234-4280 or covid19@dlt.ri.gov.
  • Employment: Jobseekers should visit EmployRI 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
  • 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: HousingHelpRI
  • 20 local financial institutions have agreed to the following:
    • 90-day grace period on mortgage payments. 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
    • List of financial institutions available at RI Dept. of Business Regulations. 

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 (800) 494-8100.

Additional Resources and Support

  • For more resources and support, please visit Health RI.
  • 2020 Census: Please take a few minutes to complete the 2020 Census at gov.
  • Distance learning support for families, visit the Highlander Institute
  • 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 Visit
  • Student Loans support:
  • Rooms for first responders and healthcare workers: available at reduced costs for quarantined/ isolation at RI Havens.
  • For additional resources please visit: https://www.smithfieldri.com/emergency/. 

Questions About COVID-19:

Please visit the R.I. Department 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.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

Randy R. Rossi
Town Manager

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

 

All Basketball Courts Remain Closed

Updated on June 25, 2020: Basketball Courts remain closed, Playgrounds are open. The situation is continually evaluated.

 

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.