COVID-19

coronavirus

This page has been prepared in order to provide members of the public with information and resources on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and to promote awareness, prevention, and preparedness in our community. This page will be updated as additional information becomes available. Please make sure you are getting information from official sources... as we strive to limit the spread of COVID-19, we also need to make sure we limit the spread of rumors and misinformation.

Members of the public are strongly advised to stay up to date on the Federal, State, and local response to and guidance on, the evolving COVID-19 situation. Because of the evolving nature of this ongoing community health situation, the Town may implement additional mitigation measures with short notice, and the information provided here is subject to change.

Testing



All Rhode Islanders can sign up to get tested through the Portal - you no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify!

  • General Public: testing information is available here.  To sign up for a test, go to the portal.ri.gov.
  • School Staff and Students: Rhode Island Pre-K - Grade 12 student and staff testing program information can be found here.

Vaccine Info



COVID-19 vaccine is readily available to anyone age 12 or older.

The three main ways that people will be able to get vaccinated are:
  1. State-run vaccination centers
  2. Designated local pharmacies, and 
  3. Other local and regional vaccination sites, some hospitals and healthcare systems, community health centers, and other sites in the community. 
Learn more about the State's vaccination plan on RIDOH's COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
 
Sign up to receive email updates from RIDOH about the State's vaccination campaign.



Tools and Resources



Stay up to date and in the know with the below online resources...

    Governor's Email Updates


    Sign up to receive email updates RI's coronavirus response..

    Vaccine Email Updates


    Sign up to receive email updates RI's coronavirus response.

    CRUSH COVID RI app


    CRUSH COVID RI is an app which provides easy access to many resources.

    COVID-19 Data Dashboard


    RIDOH has published a COVID-19 Data Dashboard that provides up to date data and statistics.

To find the latest state guidance on Covid-19 visit the Rhode Island Department of Health COVID19 Resource webpage at https://covid.ri.gov/public  

For CDC recommended guidance on Masking: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html  

Key Messages for the Public


  • State of Emergency: The State of Rhode Island and The Town of South Kingstown have declared a State of Emergency.
  • What is isolation and quarantine? Isolation and quarantine separate people who have or may have COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Learn more here
  • Isolation is a minimum of 10 days:  Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for COVID-19 needs to stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare), contact a healthcare professional, and get tested. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 (either by a lab test or through symptom assessment by a healthcare provider) must stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for healthcare).  Isolation can end only upon meeting specific RIDOH criteria.  People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • Infectious Period: For COVID-positive asymptomatic people (no symptoms) the infectious period begins 48 hours prior to the test date.  For COVID-positive or COVID-probable symptomatic people (have symptoms) the infectious period begins 48 hours prior to first having symptoms. 
  • Close Contact Quarantine Requirements: Close contacts of someone who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 during their infectious period, need to stay home and self-quarantineQuarantine timeframe guidance was updated December 10th, 2020. The quarantine timeframe is from the most recent date of close contact with an infectious person. Quarantine can end only upon meeting specific RIDOH criteria. People who think they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider, and get tested. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • Close contact means:
    • you were within six feet of someone (with or without a cloth face mask) who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes (at once or cumulative within 24 hours - for example three 5-minute exposures) during their infectious period, or 
    • having unprotected direct contact with excretions or secretions of someone who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 during their infectious period.
  • Face coverings; for those who have not been vaccinated, must be worn in order to enter Town Hall and all other Town buildings.
  • People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit www.health.ri.gov/covid, write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call 401-222-8022.
  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island. Wear a cloth face covering.  Maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet).  Avoid large groups. Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Stay home and do not leave your house if you are sick, unless it is for emergency medical care. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as germs spread this way.

ACTIVE Executive Orders and Declaration of Emergency



Reopening RI



On May 4th, 2020 Governor Raimondo announced the State's reopening strategy available online at ReopeningRI.com.   The Plan outlines the Governor's phased approach that includes Weathering the Storm, Phase 1 Testing the Water, Phase 2 Navigating our Way, Phase 3 Picking up Speed, and then Eventually We Will Land.

The ReopeningRI.com website provides a one-stop source of information on Rhode Island's reopening plan, including general workplace guidelines; guidance for child care and youth activities, faith-based organizations, gyms, parks and recreation, retail stores, restaurants, salons and barbershops, and travel and transit, with new information posted often.   

    Phase 1: Testing the Water, began May 9th, 2020


    Details on Phase 1 Testing the Water are available online. 
      

    Phase 2: Navigating Our Way, began June 1st, 2020


    Details on Phase 2 Navigating Our Way are available online.  
     

    Phase 3: Picking Up Speed, began June 30th, 2020


    Phase 3 began June 30th, and has been revised several times.  Visit the ReopeningRI.com website for additional information and resources. The Governor has indicated we may continue to be in Phase 3 for some time.

    The Pause, began November 30th, 2020


    Due to increasing cases in Rhode Island, the State was on a "Three-Week Pause" with heighted restrictions. Details are provided in the Governor's EO 20-100 and EO 20-105 on the ReopeningRI.com website. 

    Protecting Your Household, began December 21st, 2020


    Due to continued cases in Rhode Island, the State is in a stage focused on "Protecting your Household" with specific restrictions.  This guidance has been revised several times, and the latest guidance is provided in the Governor's EO 21-27 and on the ReopeningRI.com website. 

State of Rhode Island Press Releases & Executive Orders



The Governor has issued a number of Executive Orders regarding COVID-19, and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and other State Agencies have issued a number of important press releases providing helpful information, resources, and updates - including directives from the Governor for all residents, businesses, and visitors to the State. Use the links below to access recent Executive Orders, and Press Releases. Please note, the first press release link provides access to Press Releases from all Rhode Island State Agencies, and the second provides a direct link to RIDOH press releases.

State of Rhode Island Executive Orders
State of Rhode Island Press Releases
RIDOH Press Releases

Town of South Kingstown Press Releases & Executive Orders


 
The Town's executive orders and formal press releases regarding COVID-19 are linked below. Updates will also be shared on social media via the Town's official Facebook page. Because of the evolving nature of this ongoing community health situation, the Town may implement additional mitigation measures with short notice, and the information provided here is subject to change. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
 

Residents who need help with basic needs - We can help



During this period of social distancing, local support service agencies including the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, Southern RI Volunteers and South Kingstown Senior Center are coordinating efforts to ensure that the basic needs are met for our residents. If you are over the age of sixty or have an underlying medical condition, the CDC has determined that you are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. You should stay home as much as possible. If you, or someone you know, is without local support of family or neighbors, and need assistance with getting food or prescription delivery, please call the South Kingstown Senior Center at (401) 789-0268 and provide the name, address, and phone number for the resident you are referring.

Local & State Resources



The Town is working closely with many local partners and resources at the State level, to monitor the ongoing situation and its impacts locally and throughout the state.  Please be sure to stay up to date on information from the South Kingstown School Department, South County Health, and the University of Rhode Island, and visit their websites for information and updates specific to the populations they serve as well.

SKPD & SKEMS Preparedness



The South Kingstown Police Department and the South Kingstown Emergency Medical Services Department are following guidance from RIDOH and the CDC and have implemented procedures to support COVID-19 transmission prevention efforts.

Municipal Department Preparedness



Please be advised that municipal buildings have reopened. Click here to access the Town's Staff Directory.  Town Hall and municipal offices (i.e. The Guild. the Rec Center, The Senior Center) are open. The Peace Dale, Hale, and Kingston Libraries are offering curbside pickup.  The Animal Shelter is open by appointment only, but members of the public are not permitted in the building. 

Members of the public, who are not vaccinated, are advised that face coverings are required in order to enter Town Hall and other Town buildings. If you are not able to wear one, we are happy do everything we can in order to assist you outdoors, over the phone or online. If you do not have a face covering, we can provide one to you.
 
The Town is encouraging residents in need of service from any of our municipal departments to call or email for assistance, and we are happy to help.  Often times we can assist you with your questions over the phone or via email without the need to schedule an in-person appointment.  In addition, there are also many resources available on the Town's website.  

Members of the public are also welcome to use the Drop Box at Town Hall to submit employment application materials, tax and utility payments (no cash please), and any other items that do not require face to face interaction.  The Drop Box will be checked multiple times throughout the day.

The Town has implemented enhanced disinfecting efforts throughout our municipal buildings, and has closed some municipal buildings to the public. In those that remain open to the public, hand sanitizer is available for public use, and disinfecting wipes are available as well. The Town is strongly encouraging members of the public to practice social distancing, and if you are not feeling well, to please stay home, do not come to Town Hall or any municipal buildings. 

Symptoms



People of ANY AGE can contract COVID-19. The CDC has advised that reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and even death for confirmed COVID-19 cases, and that the symptoms commonly appear 2-14 days after exposure (the incubation period). 

RIDOH Information on Symptoms

RIDOH has advised that people who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider, and should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling the healthcare facility (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). The CDC and RIDOH have advised that older people and people of any age with severe underlying health conditions or have a compromised immune system seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH reminds the public that there are many respiratory illnesses circulating in Rhode Island, such as the flu and the common cold, and that while members of the public should remain vigilant regarding COVID-19, having respiratory symptoms does not mean that you have COVID-19.

Personal Prevention



The CDC advises that everyone can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19, and that everyday preventative actions can help. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering, social distancing; frequent handwashing with soap and warm water; coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue; avoid touching mouth, nose, and eyes; disinfect commonly touched surfaces; and if you are sick, stay at home. RIDOH is encouraging wearing a cloth face covering, and social distancing such as when greeting people, avoiding handshakes and hugs, and avoiding close personal contact in public - stay at least 6 feet away from other people.  RIDOH is encouraging activities that promote a healthy immune system, such as getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods.

CDC Prevention & Treatment

Community Prevention



The CDC has provided guidance on COVID-19 prevention efforts in the community, such as at home and at school, as well as providing guidance for businesses and employers, healthcare settings, and first responders.

CDC Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities (PDF)
CDC Community Prevention Guidance

RIDOH Hotline



People with general questions about COVID-19 can call the RIDOH hotline available to the public at (401) 222-8022 (people are being directed to call 211 after hours) or write to RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov.

RIDLT Resources



Rhode Islanders who have lost work as a result of COVID-19, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT). The RIDLT has created a COVID-19 specific Fact Sheet, available in both English and Spanish.

Behavioral and Mental Health Resources



It is important to take care of our physical health, but at times like these it is also important to take care of our behavioral and mental health. 

RIDOH has shared that adults 18+ seeking mental or behavioral health support can call BH Link at (401) 414-LINK (401-414-5465) and for services for children, call (401) KID-LINK (401-885-5465). 

Linked below are resources shared by the CDC and RIDOH with mental health supports and resources.
CDC Managing Anxiety & Stress
RIDOH Coping with Stress

Back 2 School RI


 
Governor Raimondo and RIDE Commissioner Infante-Green announced information about Rhode Island's back to school plans and strategy are available, and will continue to be updated on a new website Back2SchoolRI.com.

For information specific to the South Kingstown School Department, please visit the SKSD website.

Small Business Resources


 
Please visit ReopeningRI.com for information regarding the State's Reopening plan, there are a number of resources and guidance documents for businesses. 

Additional resources can be found on the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce website, the State of Rhode Island's Department of Business Regulation (DBR) website, and Rhode Island District Office of US Small Business Administration (SBA) website. 

Hotel, Vacation, and Rental Property Owner Resources from the RIDOR Division of Taxation



In order to comply with the State's quarantine orders, and the Town's Executive Order 2020-09, the Division of Taxation has provided this resource for Hotel, Vacation, and Rental Property Owners. Owners and operators of short term lodging must provide this information to their guests, inform guests of the quarantine requirement, and arrange for delivery service of food and other essentials.

CDC & RIDOH Online Resources



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) websites offer a wealth of information and resources regarding COVID-19. The Town is working closely with RIDOH to monitor the ongoing situation and its impacts locally.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
Visit the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) website