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At a press conference held today, Town Manager Rob Zarnetske announced plans to deter off-campus parties in South Kingstown as URI students return for the fall semester. The Town Manager has issued Executive Order 2020-12 imposing a $500 fine for anyone who hosts an off campus party or gathering, and a $250 fine for anyone who attends such a party or gathering. The Executive Order imposes liability on landlords, tenants, and parents if they have cosigned a lease.
Interim Chief Ewing-Chow noted that the police will be strictly enforcing all criminal statues. The Town will have COVID Enforcement Officials visiting restaurants and other locations where students frequent to remind the community that social distancing and masks are the most effective and important tools available to combat the spread of the pandemic and South Kingstown will enforce the Governor’s Executive Orders regarding social distancing and mask wearing in public.
The URI community includes 14,653 undergraduate students, 1,982 graduate students, and 1,339 non-degree students. An addendum to URI’s 2020-2021 Student Handbook has been issued to incorporate COVID-19 and Public Health-Informed Policies, which includes "Students are required to comply with state laws which include Rhode Island Executive Orders related to health and safety, ordinances, regulations, and guidance adopted by the University as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19."
The Town and URI are coordinating with the Rhode Island Department of Health to ensure a safe return to the community students will call home while attending classes. "We want to get ahead of any issues with off campus parties by URI students returning for the fall semester and reiterate the expectations as good community citizens. If you’re underage and you’re drinking at an off campus party, you can expect to be arrested, criminally charged, and fined. We’re not messing around when it comes to the public health of the community" said Town Manager Rob Zarnetske.
View the full Executive Order 2020-12 (Amended)
View today’s Press Conference
View the Town’s COVID-19 webpage