Thursday, October 22, 2020        

Smithfield COVID-19 Response Update – October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Dear Residents, Businesses, and Community Partners:

I hope you are doing well and staying safe.

COVID-19 Updates

Rhode Island is continuing to see a rise in COVID-19 cases. I strongly urge all residents to refrain from hosting or attending gatherings with over 15 people; remain 6 feet apart when in public; and always carry a face covering with you for times when social distancing cannot be maintained, or in indoor settings. Even if you are visiting with close family or friends, the Department of Health is suggesting you keep your distance and masks be worn. Please do not let your guard down.

Please consider getting tested for COVID-19 even if you are asymptomatic. Sign up at portal.ri.gov.

Halloween is two weeks away. We understand that children need an outlet for fun activities and a sense of normalcy; however, it must be done in a safe and responsible way.

  • Residents should not be hosting or attending Halloween parties
  • Children and families trick-or-treating should wear face masks and watch their distance
  • If you are handing out candy at your home, please do not do so from a communal bowl. Consider leaving individually wrapped bags outside.

For creative Halloween activities and guidance, visit: Tips for a Safer Halloween

Information for Businesses

The Governor has ordered the closure of breakrooms for 90 days. Employers are still being encouraged to let people work from home to the greatest extent possible. Please also encourage your employees to sign up for asymptomatic testing at portal.ri.gov

The State announced that they are increasing the size of potential Restore RI grant awards up to $30,000 – doubling the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities. An information session is being held on Tuesday, October 20 at 10:30 AM; Join here.

Local Updates

A reminder to voters that you can cast your ballot early Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Town Council Chambers, Smithfield Town Hall.

Please consider supporting our local businesses this weekend. Rather than ordering online, shop local; many of our small businesses have contactless pick up options or delivery. There are also many options in our community for outdoor dining and takeout.

 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Randy R. Rossi

Town Manager


General Information:

  • Travel:
    • Please limit holiday 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 here must 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 Assistance: For business economic support, constituents should visit CommerceRI, call Commerce RI at 401-521-4357 (HELP), or email them at info@commerceri.com.
    • 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
    • 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.Business Support
  • Child and Family Assistance
    • 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
    • RI Navigator provides resources for jobseekers to learn new skills, explore career options, and prepare for a job. The platform also allows jobseekers to find and connect to supportive services around barriers to employment. Additionally, jobseekers have the option of talking directly with a career guide through the RI Reconnect to get one-on-one counseling and support on educational and vocational options.
    • 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: HousingHelpRI
  • 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.