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 distribution has begun in Rhode Island. Similar to COVID-19 testing, there will be different ways to get vaccinated in Rhode Island.

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. 
We encourage all South Kingstown residents to search for a vaccination appointment at multiple sites because there is no way to know where a vaccine will become available first. 

CLICK HERE for the latest COVID-19 vaccine update from the Town.

Learn more about the State's vaccination plan on RIDOH's COVID-19 Vaccine webpage, including an FAQ and a summary of who can receive vaccinations as part of the State's week by week distribution plan, as well as an anticipated Vaccine Timeline for all Rhode Islanders. 
 
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 Self-Checker


    RIDOH has developed a COVID-19 Self-Checker, which is an online tool to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.

    COVID-19 Data Dashboard


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

"Protecting Your Household" - December 21st, 2020 through Current

 
 
In response to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island, the State is currently in a phase of "Protecting Your Household", which began last December.  The Governor has issued Executive Order 21-27 on March 19th, with updated information effective through April 17 (subject to be extended), detailing restrictions currently in effect.  In addition, the ReopeningRI website offers information including an FAQ. 

As of March 19th, 2021 the INDOOR social gathering limit has been increased to 15 people and the OUTDOOR social gathering limit has been increased to 50 people.  

Governor's Stay At Home Order for Vulnerable Populations


 
Executive Order 21-27 indicates that vulnerable populations as defined by the CDC, which includes (but is not limited to) those who are 65 and older are strongly advised to stay at home unless they must go to work, travel for medical treatment or obtain other necessities such as groceries, gas, or medication. The CDC has identified conditions that make people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

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.
  • "Protecting Your Household": While we continue to be in Phase 3 of the ReopeningRI plan, Rhode Island is currently in a stage, with heightened restrictions to help in our fight against COVID-19.  For more information, please read Executive Order 21-27 and visit www.ReopeningRI.com.
  • INDOOR Social Gatherings are limited to 15 PEOPLE ONLY: Executive Order 21-27 permits up to 15 people to gather socially indoors, beginning March 19th, 2021.  As a reminder, people still need to wear a mask any time they are with someone who does not live in their household. Additional information on gathering limitations can be found in the referenced Executive Order. The Town of South Kingstown's local executive order mirror's the state's gathering limits.
  • OUTDOOR Social Gatherings are limited to 50 PEOPLE ONLYExecutive Order 21-27 permits up to 50 people to gather socially outdoors, beginning March 19th, 2021.  As a reminder, people need to wear a mask any time they are with someone who does not live in their household. Additional information on gathering limitations can be found in the referenced Executive Order. The Town of South Kingstown's local executive order mirror's the state's gathering limits.
  • 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.
  • Domestic Travel Restrictions: Any person coming to Rhode Island (or back to RI) for a non-work related purpose from a state that has a high rate of community spread (see the list maintained by RIDOH) currently defined as 5% or greater, must immediately self-quarantine for 10 days upon arriving (or returning to) RI unless and until that person meets one of the stated exemptions, as indicated in the Governor's EO 21-27.   Additional Travel Guidance is provided by RIDOH.  The Town of South Kingstown's local executive order mirror's the state's gathering limits.
  • International Travel Restrictions: Any person coming to Rhode Island (or back to RI) from outside the 50 states must immediately self-quarantine for 10 days upon arriving (or returning to) RI unless and until that person meets one of the stated exemptions, as indicated in the Governor's EO 21-27.  Additional Travel Guidance is provided by RIDOH.  The Town of South Kingstown's local executive order mirror's the state's gathering limits.
  • Face coverings must be worn in public - both indoors and outdoors, per the Governor's EO 20-94 (extended by EO 21-16).   *Members of the public 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. If you do not have a face covering, we can provide one to you.
  • 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



Message to the South Kingstown Community


  
We need everyone's help in the continued fight against COVID-19.  While vaccines are beginning to become available, and the weather is becoming warmer, we are still seeing COVID-19 impact our community and we can't let our guard down.  Please continue to wear masks or face coverings, continue to practice social distancing, continue to avoid large gatherings, continue to limit the number of contacts, and continue to frequently wash hands. As we have seen throughout this pandemic, cases can easily surge if proper precautions are not taken.   

The Governor has ordered that cloth face coverings which cover the nose and mouth are to be worn, however be advised the wearing of cloth face masks does not eliminate or reduce the need to abide by social distancing requirements. Social gatherings - both indoor and outdoor - are currently limited.  Indoor social gatherings are limited to 15 people (please still wear your masks) and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people (again, please still wear your masks).  Wherever you go, remember that even when gathering in small numbers, social distancing guidance is to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those who are not in your immediate household - and wear a mask. Data has shown the most common source of spread is from social gatherings where people are not wearing masks.  

We realize this is likely a stressful time, and we want to assure you that the Town is doing everything we can to help promote the health and safety of our community during this pandemic, and to come out of this difficult time as a community stronger than ever. We all have a role to play, and we need everyone's help and cooperation to get through this together. Not only could it save your life, it will save the lives of others in our community. We thank you for your cooperation, patience, and understanding.

A number of resources are provided on this page, including information about the State's ReopeningRI strategy and related guidance, the State's Back2School plan, steps the Town is taking to help our community reopen, State and Town press releases and executive orders, as well as mental health resources, information for those who are out of work, and for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. It is important to remember, if you need help, please ask - help is out there. 

Our thoughts continue to go out to members of our community who have lost someone they care about due to COVID-19 or have experienced hardships as a result of this pandemic.  While we have a lot to be proud of as a community and as a state in the manner in which we’ve faced this pandemic, we cannot forget those who have been adversely affected during these past months.  To all members of our community, thank you. We are in this together, and we will get through this. We are an amazing community because of all of you. Let's all commit to doing our best during these difficult times. We've come so far together the last year, and we can't let our guard down now.  While we are in Phase 3 of our State's reopening plan, we still need to recognize there are restrictions in place and each of us is responsible for knowing and abiding by them. 

Wishing you healthy days ahead! 
  
RIDOH has a helpful COVID-19 page on their website, which offers an updated summary of information and resources. Additional resources can be found below.

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. 

Cloth Face Coverings To be Worn 


  
The Governor issued an executive order stating everyone, both inside and outside, shall wear a cloth face covering ("mask") that covers their nose and mouth. The most recent Executive Order regarding cloth face coverings with current requirements is EO 20-94 (as extended by EO 21-16).   Current guidance is that masks are to be worn anytime you are with someone who does not live in your home.
 
The primary goal of wearing a cloth face covering is to help reduce the release of respiratory droplets that may contain infectious materials into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes. As pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people are contagious, wearing cloth face coverings helps to reduce transmission by people who don't know they are sick. Rhode Island Commerce has provided information for retailers and businesses, and RIDOH has provided signage to post.

Members of the public 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. If you do not have a face covering, we can provide one to you.
 
The RIDOH has also issued guidance regarding cloth face coverings, available below.
COVID-19 and Wearing Masks

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.
 

Travel Guidance


 
The most recent Executive Order issued by the Governor providing Travel Guidance is Executive Order 21-27 and related Travel Guidance is also provided on the RIDOH website.
  
The Governor has directed the following people to immediately self-quarantine upon arrival in Rhode Island, unless or until they meet an exemption as indicated in EO 21-27:
  • Anyone who has traveled internationally to (or back to) Rhode Island
  • Anyone who has traveled domestically to (or back to) Rhode Island from a state that has a high rate of community spread (currently defined as 5% or greater)
The Town Manager has amended the local Executive Order aligning the Town's travel guidance and quarantine restrictions with the States.
 
Self-quarantine and Self-Isolation (based on RIDOH guidance) means stay home (except for getting testing or to seek medical treatment related to COVID-19); do not go to work, school, or any public places; do not use public transportation; separate yourself from other people in your home, as much as possible stay in a different room than other people in your home; and use a separate bathroom if possible. 

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 some municipal buildings have reopened, others remain open by appointment only, and others remain closed to the public.   Please call (401) 789-9331 to schedule an appointment. Click here to access the Town's Staff Directory.  Town Hall and municipal offices remain open by appointment only, and are not permitting walk ins.  The Guild and the Rec Center open for limited programming.  The Senior Center remains closed, but limited programming, such as offering a delivered-to-you lunch, is available.  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 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