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.