Thursday, September 24, 2020        

Smithfield COVID-19 Response Update – August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020

Dear Residents, Businesses, and Community Partners:

I hope you are staying safe and feeling healthy.  Thankfully, Rhode Islanders have been adhering to state health guidelines, which has resulted in fewer reported cases of COVID-19 and a 1.1% positivity rate over the past week. The State has also continued expanding its testing capabilities, testing over 7,000 Rhode Islanders last Thursday alone, to ensure the safety of our community. It is extremely important that we all continue to stay vigilant. As a reminder, the following is in place:

  • All gatherings must be limited to 15 people or less;
  • Limit your circle of contacts to 15 people or less;
  • Masks and face coverings should be worn when distancing is not possible;
  • Common surfaces should be cleaned frequently; and
  • Hands should be washed or sanitized often.
  • For more guidance on Phase III, visit: Re-Opening RI

I understand the stress that families across our community face around the opening of school. The Governor is working to address those concerns by communicating a series of reopening guidelines about how the State is preparing for the first day of school on September 14.

The Governor announced the creation of an “Education Operations Center”

The Center will be staffed by members of the National Guard, Rhode Island Department of Education, Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. This team will be available 24/7 to provide support to our school district.

The operations center will be responsible for:

  • Providing schools with face masks, hand sanitizer, and other supplies.
  • Conduct testing, contact trace and isolate any infected students or teachers to prevent an outbreak.

Our School District will be responsible for:

  • Implementing cleaning protocols
  • Ensuring safe transportation of every student
  • Isolating and reporting symptomatic students or teachers to the Health Department

The Governor established a “facilities readiness team”

Their role will be to walk through every public school in the state to ensure the school is adhering to its reopening plan. You can find our district’s reopening plan here (Smithfield Public School’s Reopening Plan).

  • A nationally recognized air quality expert will attend these walk-throughs to confirm adequate ventilation of each school.

To find more information about the State, and our communities’ reopening plan, including a 13-page guidance document about a safe school reopening, visit Back2schoolri.

All Rhode Island public schools will open on September 14. Governor Raimondo will offer a final decision on whether schools will be fully open, partially open or fully remote on Monday August 31st at her 1:00 PM press conference. While the Governor is committed to providing safe, in-person education for every Rhode Islander this school year, Smithfield supports those parents who opt for distance learning.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Randy R. Rossi

Town Manager


General Information:

  • Re-Opening Rhode Island’s Economy: Re-Opening RI
  • Re-Opening Rhode Island’s Schools: Back2schoolri
  • COVID Guidance in Multiple Languages: 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 here.
  • RI Department of Health COVID-19 Data: Visit RIDOH.
  • Testing:
    • 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.
  • Travel:
    • If you are planning to travel to a state that requires a COVID-19 test in order to avoid extended quarantine, you can schedule a test through RI.gov. Individuals will receive their results within 24-48 hours. 
    • Rhode Islanders who travel to or from the states listed heremust quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Rhode Island and schedule an asymptomatic test.
    • Travelers coming to Rhode Island from one of these states with a COVID-19 positivity rate of higher than 5%, must quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms.
    • As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island.
    • For more information, please visit: https://health.ri.gov/covid/travel/
  • 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:The State is offering $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. Learn more and apply here.
    • 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
    • Business Assistance: For business economic support, constituents should visit CommerceRI, 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 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
    • 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.