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.

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.
  • Reopening RI Phase 3: Rhode Island is currently in Phase 3 (extended most recently on September 25th, 2020) of the ReopeningRI plan.  For more information, please visit www.ReopeningRI.com.
  • Schools: For information about Rhode Island's school reopening plan, please visit Back2SchoolRI.com.
  • What is isolation and quarantine? Isolation and quarantine separate people who have or may have COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Isolation is for people who are already sick whether or not they have symptoms. Quarantine is for people who are not sick, but have been exposed. Learn more here
  • Isolation:  Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 needs to stay home and self-isolate (unless going out for testing or healthcare) and contact a healthcare professional. 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).
  • Quarantine: Close contacts of someone who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19, need to stay home and self-quarantine.  Quarantine can end only upon meeting specific RIDOH criteria. Close contact means: you were within six feet of someone who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 for a period of 10-15 minutes, you provided care at home to someone who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19, you had direct physical contact (touched, hugged, or kissed) with someone who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19, you shared drinking or eating utensils with someone who tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 , or someone sneezed, coughed, or otherwise got respiratory droplets on you and that person tested positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19 . 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. Do not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless you are experiencing a medical emergency).
  • Social gatherings are LIMITED TO 15 people (both indoor and outdoor social gatherings).  Please note this limit was reduced effective beginning July 29th, from the initial Phase 3 Opening of 25 (indoor) and 50 (outdoor) people.  Additional information on gathering limitations can be found in the Governor's EO 20-67 issued August 28th, 2020 (and extended per EO 20-79), and the Town's local executive orders linked below. Don't forget - you still need to wear a mask and social distance 6 feet. The Town of South Kingstown's local executive order mirror's the state's gathering limits.
  • Domestic Travel Restrictions: People coming to Rhode Island (or back to RI) from a state that has a high rate of community spread (see the list maintained by RIDOH) currently defined as 5% or greater must quarantine for 14 days upon arriving (or returning to) RI, or until such time as they receive a negative COVID-19 test, per the Governor's EO 20-67 (as extended per EO 20-79). Exceptions include public health, public safety, and healthcare workers, and anyone traveling for work related purposes, for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services, to obtain necessities such as groceries, gas or medication, to drop off or pick up children from day care, to anyone who must work on their boats, and to anyone who has had a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. 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: People coming to Rhode Island (or back to RI) from outside the 50 states must quarantine for 14 days, per the Governor's EO 20-67 (as extended per EO 20-79).  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 - whenever 6 feet of social distance cannot be continuously maintained, per the Governor's EO 20-60 (and extended per EO 20-81).  Exceptions are made for children under two years of age, and anyone whose health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering. *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


 
As it is now the fall, we are heading into the regular cold and flu season, and an increase COVID-19 cases during this time is anticipated.  We need everyone's help in the fight against COVID-19.  Please continue to wear masks or face coverings, continue to practice social distancing, continue to avoid large gatherings, and continue to frequently wash hands. As we have seen in other states, cases can easily surge if proper precautions are not taken.  Our numbers are low - lets keep them that way! 

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 are currently limited to no more than 15 people, and 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 in the last few months, 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.

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.

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.   

Check back on ReopeningRI.com often for updates and additional resources.

Online Tools and Resources



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

    CRUSH COVID RI app


    CRUSH COVID RI is a COVID-19 pandemic response app which provides Rhode Islanders easy access to all of the resources required during the public health crisis, including a location diary that helps users identify the people and places they are in contact with and a symptom checking survey.

    Governor's Email Updates


    Sign up to receive email updates from the Governor, and keep up to date on the latest news from Rhode Island's coronavirus response.

    COVID-19 Self-Checker


    RIDOH has developed a COVID-19 Self-Checker, which is an online tool for Rhode Islanders to use 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 regarding COVID-19 in Rhode Island.

Cloth Face Coverings To be Worn in Public 


 
The Governor issued an executive order stating that effective Friday May 8th, 2020 anyone in public, both inside and outside, shall wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth. The most recent Executive Order regarding cloth face coverings with current requirements is EO 20-60 (as extended per EO 20-81). Additional detail about this directive, and exceptions, can be found in the Executive Orders.

Dr. Alexander-Scott had indicated in a Press Conference that 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.

The Doctor shared that cloth face coverings can be a home-sewn face mask, and that these face coverings should be washed at least daily.  The Doctor advised that cloth face coverings are different than medical masks, and that people should not be hoarding surgical masks or N95 masks. Instead, people are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings, with material that covers the nose and mouth, can be secured to the head with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face.

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 CDC has also issued guidance regarding cloth face coverings, available below.
CDC Recommendations on Cloth Face Coverings
CDC Information on how to make and use Cloth Face Coverings

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



The Town's 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 20-67 (as extended per EO-79).
  
The Governor has directed the following people to self-quarantine:
  • Anyone who has traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days and came to or returned to Rhode Island must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • 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), in the last 14 days must  immediately self-quarantine for 14 days, or until such time as they receive a negative COVID-19 test.  Exceptions include public health, public safety, and healthcare workers, and anyone traveling for work related purposes, for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services, to obtain necessities such as groceries, gas or medication, to drop off or pick up children from day care, to anyone who must work on their boats, and to anyone who has had a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island.
The Town Manager has amended the local Executive Order 2020-09, aligning the Town's travel guidance and quarantine restrictions with the States, through October 13th, 2020 (subject to be extended).
 
Self-quarantine and Self-Isolation (based on RIDOH guidance) means stay home; 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. Please refer to RIDOH guidance  for further guidance on self-quarantining and self-isolation.

The CDC has also provided guidance for travelers regarding COVID-19.
CDC Travel Guidance
CDC Travel FAQ

Key Dates



March 9th, 2020

  • Governor declares a State of Emergency in Rhode Island

March 15th, 2020

  • South Kingstown Town Council voted to authorize a Declaration of Emergency

April 18th, 2020

  • Governor's Executive Order 20-24 requiring all employees required to wear Cloth Face Coverings

May 8th, 2020

  • Governor's Executive Order 20-30 requiring Cloth Face Masks to be worn by members of the public while in public (indoors and outdoors) 

May 9th, 2020

  • Governor's Stay At Home Order Lifted
  • Reopening RI Phase 1 Began

May 18th, 2020

  • Restaurants can begin limited outdoor dining in addition to offering take out, delivery, and drive through services 

June 1st, 2020

  • Town of South Kingstown 4th Quarter Tax Due Date (extended from May 1st)
  • Reopening RI Phase 2 Began 
  • Gathering limits increased from 5 to 15 people  
  • Restaurants can begin limited indoor dining, in addition to offering outdoor dining, takeout, delivery, and drive through services

June 29th, 2020

  • Summer Camp permitted to begin 

June 30th, 2020

  • Reopening RI Phase 3 Began (refer to www.ReopeningRI.com for more detail) 
  • Gathering limits increased from 15 to 25 people (indoor social gatherings), please refer to the Governor's EO 20-50 for more detail
  • People traveling to (or back to) Rhode Island from a state that has a high rate of community spread (currently defined as 5% or greater), in the last 14 days must  immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.  Exceptions include public health, public safety, and healthcare workers, and anyone traveling for work related purposes, for medical treatment, to attend funeral or memorial services, to obtain necessities such as groceries, gas or medication, to drop off or pick up children from day care, to anyone who must work on their boats, and to anyone who has had a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Rhode Island. 

July 8th, 2020

  • Town of South Kingstown local Executive Order 2020-07 (amended) suspending 'The Plastic Bag Ban" expired (Businesses are advised this EO will not be extended)

July 17th, 2020

July 29th, 2020

  • Reopening RI Phase 3 Extended (refer to www.ReopeningRI.com for more detail) 
  • Social gathering limits reduced to 15 people, please refer to the Governor's EO 20-58 for more detail on gathering limits, travel guidance, etc.

August 3rd, 2020

August 26th, 2020

August 28th, 2020

August 31st, 2020

 
  • Governor to make announcement on school reopening plan 

September 14th, 2020

September 29th, 2020

October 28th, 2020

  • Governor's EO 20-67 (extended per EO 20-79) providing detail on gathering limits, travel guidance, etc. expires (subject to be extended)

October 31, 2020

November 1, 2020

November 2nd, 2020

  • State of Rhode Island Declaration of Emergency, Extended by the Governor's EO 20-69, and further extended per EO 20-81 expires (subject to be extended)
  • Governor's Executive Order requiring Cloth Face Masks to be worn by members of the public while in public (indoors and outdoors), Extended by EO 20-69, and further extended per EO 20-81 expires (subject to be extended)

November 9th, 2020

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 are open for limited scheduled programming, but are not permitting drop ins.  The Senior Center is open for limited scheduled programming.  The Peace Dale, Hale, and Kingston Libraries are open to the public with reduced hours - visit their website for more information.  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 CDC and RIDOH advise that common symptoms include fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, muscle or body aches (myalgias), sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose or stuffy nose, fatigue, and recent loss of taste or smell. RIDOH notes that people who have COVID-19 have experienced a range of different symptoms, to include only one or any combination of these 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.

CDC Guidance on Symptoms

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.

Testing



Rhode Islanders who have any COVID-19 symptoms can learn how to get tested here.

Rhode Island Pre-K -Grade 12 student and staff testing program information can be found here.

Rhode Islanders who do not have symptoms, but are high-contact workers, recently attended a large gathering such as a protest or demonstration, traveled to a state on Rhode Island's "hot list" are able to sign up for an asymptomatic test (if you don't have symptoms) by going to portal.ri.gov.

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

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

Governor's Stay At Home Order Lifted



The Governor issued Executive Order 20-14 on Saturday March 28th, 2020 which included several significant orders, including a Stay at Home order for all Rhode Islanders.  This Stay at Home order was lifted, effective Saturday May 9th, 2020, after the Governor issued Executive Order 20-32.  It is noted that vulnerable populations as defined by the CDC, which include 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. In addition, Executive Order 20-67 (as extended per EO 20-79) indicates that vulnerable populations should still remain home, provides gathering limitations, and travel guidance including quarantine requirements.