*Internet Explorer will not work with the above-provided links. Anyone who registers that is not 75+ or a resident of Providence will have their appointment cancelled. In the coming days, additional clinic dates will be added to https://www.providenceri.gov/vaccinate/.
Residents who need assistance signing up for an appointment are encouraged to dial 3-1-1 to speak with a representative who can walk you through the enrollment process in English or Spanish. Although additional staff are supporting phone lines, residents should expect longer than normal wait times as MCCS anticipates a higher than normal call volume.
Councilman Pedro Espinal (Ward 10) introduced a resolution at tonight’s City Council meeting urging the State of Rhode Island to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to any individual who tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally the resolution urges the State to provide individuals with information regarding PPE, self-isolation and best practices to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus translated into the individual’s native language.
“As we have all seen, the COVID-19 virus has disproportionately affected minority communities and communities of color,” stated Councilman Pedro Espinal, “Many of the Rhode Islanders in these communities may not speak English and are unable to self-isolate properly due to a lack of information, resources, PPE or space in their homes,”.
Self-isolation is key to keeping individuals who have tested positive with COVID-19 from spreading the virus. However, self-isolation can be very difficult when an individual lives with other people in their home, especially in close quarters. Further complicating this issue is the lack of translated information on health and safety for non-English speakers.
“Facts, data and PPE have been some of the most important factors in our fight with COVID-19. Personal Protective Equipment and reliable information on how to keep yourself and those around you safe must be made available to anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19; especially our neighbors who may not speak english,” continued Councilman Espinal.
Upon passage, copies of this resolution will be sent to Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
Providence City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) announced today that the City Council would be granting Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic a $100 Thousand grant to expand COVID-19 testing at their health clinic. Data made public by the Rhode Island Department of Health last week showed that the City of Providence is being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 cases. More specifically, the hardest-hit zip code in the entire state encompasses the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Silver Lake, and Manton – communities that Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic serves.
“These neighborhoods are home to some of the hardest working and most marginalized populations in the state,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “These truths are also why they are more likely to be exposed to the dangers of this virus. These communities are the ones risking their lives manufacturing essential goods, ringing out and delivering food to everyone’s homes, and are more likely to access mass public transit. These critical funds will allow Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic to expand their testing operations from three days a week to six days a week and will provide the 02909 community a testing site that’s more easily accessible.”
Clínica Esperanza was founded in 2007 as a place for patients, volunteers, community partners and donors to be healthy. Their community health care model ensures that quality care comes from caregivers who are fully integrated in the community. They offer primary medical care to uninsured Rhode Islanders, with an emphasis on culturally accustomed and linguistically appropriate care.
Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia (Ward 6) stated, “By providing expanded testing hours for our community we are sending a message to our residents that their wellbeing is our number one priority, and that we are doing whatever we can to make testing accessible and equitable. I commend the Council President for her leadership and guidance on this initiative.”
“The health of the community we serve is our highest priority,” stated Councilman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. “These funds will go a long way in ensuring that our most vulnerable residents can access COVID-19 testing safely and with the help and guidance of a culturally competent staff.”
Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic is located at 60 Valley Street in the City of Providence. With this grant, they will be increasing their COVID-19 testing to six days a week from 4 PM – 9 PM daily. Their staff is multi-lingual, and you will need to make an appointment by email at email@example.com, or by calling 401-408-0238, or by sending them a Facebook message.
Participants Can Call Into the Meeting With Their Phones
Providence will be the first Council Body to use this Teleconferencing Technology
In light of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak which has affected many of us here in Rhode Island, the Governor issued an executive order earlier this week lifting the Open Meetings Act (OMA) restrictions for public meetings.
The order allows for adequate alternative means of public access such as over phone, internet, and audio or videoconferencing when it comes to public body meetings.
“Our goal as a City Council is to be as transparent as possible,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15). “We have decided to move from livestreaming to teleconferencing due to the rapid spread of the virus here in Rhode Island. In the last 48 hours, we have seen an increase of 21 positive infections, totaling 44 positive infections here in Rhode Island as of 1:30 PM today. It’s with that in mind that we have made the difficult decision to host our meeting using a teleconference line, a widely used and implemented practice. This will allow for residents to hear the discussions as it happens by our body in real-time.”
In light of this executive order, in addition to the prior executive order limiting gatherings of more than 25 people, and to protect the health of our Councilors, staff, and our residents Council President Sabina Matos has decided to seek alternative public access mediums for tonight’s Council meeting. The City Council will be using a teleconferencing platform for tonight’s meeting.
Call-In Information is Below: Please dial: 1-646-558-8656 Pin: 692739810# Press # again to enter the conference waiting room.
This tough decision is premised on an urgency to preserve public health while also maintaining the spirit of an open and transparent governmental process.
In light of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak which recently reared its head here in Rhode Island, the Governor issued an executive order today lifting OMA restrictions for public meetings.
The order allows for adequate alternative means of public access such as over the phone, internet, and audio or videoconferencing when it comes to public body meetings.
In light of this executive order, in addition to the prior executive order limiting gatherings of more than 25 people, and to protect the health of our Councilors and staff we decided to seek alternative public access mediums for our Thursday Council meeting. Between Councilors and essential staff, the number of individuals in the chamber totals 24.
This tough decision is premised on an urgency to preserve public health while also maintaining the spirit of an open and transparent governmental process.
After careful consideration of what options the Providence City Council had available to deliver it’s Thursday meeting in the most accessible, equitable, and transparent manner, we made the decision to livestream our meeting over our social media platforms and our YouTube channel.
This past winter we equipped our City Council Chamber with livestreaming capabilities that put us technologically ahead of almost all of our municipal legislative peers and perfectly equipped to adhere to the mandate issued today by the Governor.
Providence City Solicitor, Jeff Dana, stated, “Municipalities were directed today to observe to the spirit of OMA to the best of their abilities in light of the public health crisis. The livestreaming capability inside of the Council Chamber would appear to be exactly the type of measure the Governor envisioned municipalities would administer when she signed the executive order.”
This is an unprecedented moment in the history of our State and City. With that in mind and our commitment to transparency, the Council will work with local media outlets to designate a pool reporter, whom will be stationed in the balcony of the Chambers, to limit the number of individuals at our meeting, and to ensure that the Council is being held to the highest standard.
Rhode Island is in the beginning stages of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. It is safe to get vaccinated and Rhode Island is working hard to get the vaccine to those who need it the most. To learn more about the vaccine and distribution plans, click here.
Everyone must wear face masks when at work or out in public until further notice. Learn more about masks here: Face Masks
Walk-up and drive-thru testing is available at several locations throughout Providence. Click here for information about when and where to get tested (English and Spanish): https://bit.ly/35flOQE
If you are feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed you can access services for adults and children where you will be matched with mental health professionals. Adults can call BHLink at 414-Link and for children, you can call KidsLink at 855-543-5465. If you are experiencing violence in the home or other mental health struggles here is a great resource provided by the RI Department of Health: In EnglishEn Español
If you are sick at all – headache, runny nose, cough, fever or other symptoms you must stay home from work.
If you are in quarantine the state has set up a program for food service, you can go to RIDelivers.com or call 211 to access this service.
Keep a daily log of where you have been and who you came in contact with to help in mitigation and contact tracing if you become infected with the COVID-19 virus.
The Red Cross has launched the Virtual Family Assistance Center. This program will provide help to families who have lost a family member due to COVID-19, this includes counseling services, legal resources, funeral information and more.
Updates Regarding the Federal, State, and City’s Response to COVID-19
As of December 20, 2020 new guidance is in effect for the state of Rhode Island. Click here to see the latest social distancing guidelines and restrictions.
Anyone who would like confidential assistance with any questions they have regarding healthcare, testing, housing, food delivery, etc, can call “The Point” this is a confidential help line. The number is 401-462-4444
The State of Rhode Island has launched a website to describe the plan to reopen the economy here you can find guidance for reopening your business, plans for the phases of re-opening and resources: REOPENINGRI.COM
Rhode Island launched a one-stop COVID-19 app called Crush COVID RI. This app is available on the Apple app store and on Google Play in English and Spanish.
Any public facing employee (store clerks, office workers, etc.) will be required to wear a cloth face mask while at work. Residents also must wear the same type of cloth masks while out in public. Be sure that it covers your nose and mouth to keep others safe from the virus and other germs. To learn more visit: Face Masks How To’s
The RI Department of Health is looking for part-time or retired public health workers including doctors, nurses, LPN’s, CNA’s, CNE’s, social workers and mental health workers to help during the crisis. If you would like to sign-up please visit RIResponds.Org.
The RI DMV is providing 90-day extensions on registrations, renewals, etc. from the date of March 1, 2020 until the crisis is over.
Don’t fall prey to COVID-19 Scams. No government agency will ask for your SSN or your address, they know it. For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site regarding scams: FTC
If you are seeing price gouging the Attorney General has created an online complaint form: Online Complaint Form
There is now a 30-day waiting period for the purchase of firearms in place, due to the need to have safety personnel available to assist with the ongoing health crisis.
Governor Raimondo announced the WeR1 initiative, in an effort to bring relief to Rhode Islanders who are undocumented and therefore are not eligible to benefit from Federal and State relief programs. Donations to the weR1 Rhode Island Fund can be made at http://bit.ly/give-wer1 or by texting weR1 to 27126. Learn more here.
City Hall Updates
The City Council Office is now open and ready to assist you. Please call our office at 401-521-7477 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All emergency services including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and—for life safety matters only— Animal Control will continue regular operations.
City Hall is open for business. All visitors must come in through the back door on Eddy St and will be screened for COVID-19 Symptoms.
How to Volunteer, Help Your Neighbors, How to Safely Grocery Shop, & Restaurant Food Donations
The United Way of Rhode Island is creating a list of volunteers as a proactive measure to protect and support our communities during COVID-19. If you’re interested in helping nonprofits meet Rhode Islanders’ basic needs, please complete this short survey. Note: we’ll only contact you if there is a match.
The RI Department of Health is looking for part-time or retired public health workers including doctors, nurses, LPN’s, CNA’s, CNE’s, social workers and mental health workers to help during the crisis. If you would like to sign-up please visit RIResponds.Org
Check out this handy guide of best practices that City Council has created: English and En Español
The City’s Healthy Communities Department has issued the following guidelines for grocery shopping: English and En Español
If you are a restaurant or would like to donate food from a restaurant, please follow these guidelines: English and En Español
How Can a Business Donate to the Department of Health
If you are a business owner and have the ability, supplies, or equipment to donate to the Health Department please fill out this online form: Health Donation Form
Do not go to malls or areas where large numbers of people may be – like bars or restaurants.
Do go for a walk or a run – it just means that you need to keep your distance from other people. Otherwise seemingly healthy people can be a carrier for COVID-19 and have no symptoms, but it can quickly spread – especially to individuals over the age of 60 or to those who have compromised immune systems or other underlying health concerns. So please be mindful.
Practice Social Distancing: Social Distancing is the practice of keeping a distance of roughly 4 to 6 feet between you and other people – even your loved ones. It means no close personal contact like hugging or handshaking. Say hello or nod your head when greeting a friend or neighbor.
Remember to practice safe hygiene by washing your hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbows, using hand sanitizer, and staying indoors and at home if feeling sick.
Resources Regarding Providence City Schools and Meal Services for Residents 18 & Younger.
The Providence Public School Department has a distance learning hotline for students and families: 401-456-0686
What Distance Learning looks like – check out this Google Document for more information: Distance Learning
For updates regarding the Providence Public School Department’s response to COVID-19 click here.
To answer any questions about the new 2020-2021 school year for Providence Public Schools visit: reopenpvdschools.org
Grab and Go meals will be provided for distance learners under the age of 18 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:30-4:30 PM. For more details and a list of pick-up locations in English and Spanish, click here.
Resources Around Utilities, Social, Federal and State Services
To find out more information regarding the U.S. Economic Impact Payment Program (Stimulus Checks) see these Resurces:
Residential trash and recycling pick-ups are considered essential services and will continue as scheduled.
Department of Labor and Training (DLT), and HealthSource RI will be moving to online and telephone-only services until further notice. This includes all new applications, renewals, or changes in benefits. Individuals who need to drop off paper applications will be able to do so without speaking with a customer service representative.
SNAP recipients are now able to buy groceries online from Amazon and participating Walmarts with their EBT cards.
Resources for Seniors
Providence has several meal sites dedicated to serving older adults throughout the city. Please contact each site directly as information may change daily: Senior Meal Sites
Grocery stores throughout Rhode Island are providing dedicated shopping hours to promote the safety and wellness of older adults: Dedicated Senior Shopping Hours
SeniorLiving.Org has compiled information on how to help seniors with communication, grocery delivery, home care and, health monitoring. This guide, Social Distancing: Apps for Seniors, provides practical apps for seniors (tech-savvy or not), along with setup assistance.
Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Office of Health Aging held a Facebook Town Hall for older Rhode Islanders. This can be viewed here.
Governor Raimondo took some time to go over the current situation in nursing homes.
About 76% of Rhode Island deaths due to COVID-19 have been nursing home residents. This is higher than both Massachusetts and Connecticut.
However, on a per capita basis, Rhode Island has seen less nursing home deaths compared to MA and CT.
Rhode Island is currently in the third phase of nursing home testing; through this program, every nursing home employee is able to get tested for COVID-19.
The National Guard has been providing assistance to any nursing home that requests it. This assistance includes employee PPE training, supplemented staffing for understaffed shifts, grief and trauma counseling, increased employee wages and increased PPE funding.
Resources for Renters & Homeowners
The State of Rhode Island has created a fund to help individuals who have past due rent and for those eligible can seek a grant of up to $5K. To find out if you are eligible, please visit HousingHelpRI.com or call the United Way at 2-1-1 if you don’t have access to the internet.
The State of Rhode Island has partnered with several financial institutions to provide a 90-day grace period on residential mortgage payments, no negative impacts to credit ratings from this relief, no late fees or charges, and a 60-day moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions for those who are impacted by COVID-19. To find a list of participating financial institutions visit the Department of Business Regulation.
HomesRI has released fact sheets on your rights as a tenant and how you can be protected during this COVID-19 crisis: In EnglishEn Español
HomesRI has released fact sheets on your rights as a homeowner and how you can be protected during this COVID-19 crisis: In EnglishEn Español
Are you a tenant behind on your rent because of COVID-19? Or a landlord whose tenants need help getting back on their feet? Then you may be able to take advantage of the Safe Harbor Housing Program from the United Way of Rhode Island. Click here to learn more.
Resources for Lost Wages and Employee Rights
Here is a great resource of what you may or may not qualify for, and how to apply as published by WPRI News.
If you need to stay home because of COVID-19, there are resources for you. Please DO NOT go into work if you are sick. Click here for the various resources available, including paid sick leave, unemployment benefits and options for undocumented immigrants.
If you lost a job due to COVID-19 or you are unemployed, the State has launched a new website to match employees with companies that are hiring: employri.org
If you have lost work or have to stay home because of COVID-19, the state may be able to help: Workplace Aid
If you are quarantined with COVID-19 you can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI): TDI Application
If the place where you work closes or your employer tells you that you must stay home without pay, you may be able to collect Unemployment Insurance if you can please fill out the form online and not call the office as it slows down processing of checks: File an Unemployment Claim
Are you a member of the RI AFL-CIO? Here’s a comprehensive guide of resources if you are out of work and other benefits: AFL-CIO
Resources for the Self-Employed, Contract Workers, Sole Proprietors, or Gig Workers
Gig workers, contract workers, self-employed, small business owners, sole proprietors, and other people who do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are covered in the new federal CARES Act, can file online here: File an Unemployment Claim
Resources for Small Businesses
A second stimulus package has replenished the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Fund. If you are a small business owner you are encouraged to call your banker immediately. If you do not currently have a relationship with a bank please email email@example.com and they will help you find a lender.
The City of Providence has made adjustments to the Providence Business Loan Fund (PBLF) allowing businesses to borrow as little as $10K with closing costs capped at $500, with zero interest for up to 12 months, and deferred loan payments for 6-12 months. To further address the current disruption to the business community, PBLF is suspending the accrual of interest and fees on the loans to all current borrowers in April. Businesses interested in learning more about PBLF—including eligibility requirements—should visit providencebusinessloanfund.com, or contact PBLF Director Tom Hoagland by calling 401-680-8412.
The state is launching a short-term bridge loan program for businesses with 10 or fewer employees. The loan fund is seeded with $2M, and you are able to apply for the loan after you have filled out the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Application. Call (401) 521-HELP.
The SBA Disaster Loan Assistance has been approved by the Small Business Administration, please note due to high volume the website has had a tendency to move slow or crash: Application
If you own a small business and need assistance because of COVID-19, the RI Commerce Corporation asks that you call: The Small Business Hotline (401) 521-HELP during normal business hours or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. They can help by guiding you through the claims process.
Commerce RI, with support from volunteers from the Tech Community, will provide free tech support and advice on moving their businesses to remote working.
The Department of Business Regulations‘ regulations include a defined number of people allowed in the establishment at one time, creating social distancing in lines, increased and more thorough cleaning, and having designated staff to keep a physical count of shoppers in a store at any given one time.
If you are having issues with the Disaster Loan Assistance application, or have been issued a denial please call 401-521-HELP.
If you have lost business because of COVID-19, we ask that you fill out the Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet shared by the US Small Business Administration. By doing this, it may help Rhode Island get federal aid in support of our small businesses who have suffered adversely due to the ramifications of COVID-19.
Potential Resources for Educators, Learners, and those Craving the Arts
If you have access to streaming services, some of Broadway’s best shows are available across platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple, Netflix, Hulu, PBS and a host of others. Here’s a good list compiled by Playbill: Broadway on the Small Screen
Fan of opera? Want to expose your young ones to one of the oldest performance artforms, NYC’s Metropolitan Opera is offering nightly viewings of some of their most revered performances: OperaWire
12 of the world’s most famous museums have virtual tours you can access online for free. Check out this article from Travel & Leisure to find one you might want to visit! Virtual Museum Tours
The Rhode Island Department of Education is launching “Sail” Courses this summer. This temporary program is designed for students of all ages who may have fallen behind in distance learning. This program is free and there are a wide variety of courses for students from PreK-12. More information can be found on https://www.ride.ri.gov/Home.aspx
Providence Restaurants Open for Takeout or Delivery: Thank You Eat Drink RI for This List For a Complete List of Restaurants Open in Rhode Island: Eat Drink RI