Urges Social Distancing and Recommended Sanitation Practices to Residents and Businesses
Friday, March 13, 2020
PROVIDENCE, RI—Mayor Jorge O. Elorza announced today that city buildings will close as of March 14th and reopen on March 30th, pending additional guidance from State and Federal Health Officials. All non-essential city staff will be asked to stay home. As a precaution, City Hall, all Recreation Centers, the Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Center will be closed to the public for the next two weeks.
The Mayor’s Center for City Services will continue to support calls from 8:00AM-8:00PM, seven days a week. Residents and business can call to connect by dialing 3-1-1 or by downloading the app for smartphones or visiting the website. Any residents, establishments or entities who have ongoing business with the City of Providence are encouraged to conduct it online or via telephone.
Given guidance from the State and the Department of Health and in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), April spring break will be moved to next week (March 16th– March 20th) for Providence Public Schools. During this time, RIDE will work with districts to develop distance learning plans and clean school facilities. Private schools are strongly recommended to follow similar closures next week.
Yesterday, Mayor Elorza declared a State of Emergency in Providence. The City temporarily revoked any issued entertainment licenses and will not issue any new entertainment licensing until further notice. Additionally, all other license holders are restricted from serving or gathering more than 100 patrons at a time. Aligned with the State’s guidance, all residents are discouraged from organizing or attending large scale events.
Residents are encouraged to continue social distancing (6 feet) practices as outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to reduce the spread of germs. This includes avoiding direct contact with peers through handshaking or hugging. Residents are also encouraged to continue following and sharing the recommended best hygiene practices which include: washing your hands and using gel hand sanitizer; covering your cough; staying home if sick; and continuously disinfecting surfaces.
As of this today, the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Rhode Island has grown to 14 presumptive cases, with several individuals pending test results. Within the City’s history, the last comparable outbreak occurred in 1918 when nearly 2,000 people died of respiratory illness caused by Spanish influenza; another 600 individuals died of similar causes in 1919. Preliminary estimates provided by the CDC indicate that over 34,000 Americans died of the flu between 2018 and 2019 alone.
For more information on COVID-19 and best practices you can share, residents can call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting www.PVD311.com or download the PVD311 mobile app on your smart phone for 24/7 access. Residents can register to receive CodeRED emergency notifications by phone, email, text, and/or mobile alerts for the latest updates from the City and to reach out to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 Assistance Line at 401-222-8022 Monday through Friday during regular business hours should they have additional questions.