The City Will Continue to Deliver Essential City Services While Practicing Social Distancing
March 17, 2020
PROVIDENCE, RI- To mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the City of Providence has closed all city buildings to the public. Below is a list of operational changes that will help maintain the health and safety of Providence residents and employees while minimizing the disruption to city services. The operational changes will go into effect at 12:01AM on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and will be in place until further notice, pending additional guidance from State and Federal Health officials.
As part of the temporary modifications, the following City services and offices will remain FULLY operational:
- All emergency services including Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and—for life safety matters only— Animal Control will continue regular operations.
- The City contracted curbside trash and recycling collection will continue as regularly scheduled. Please note this does not include privately contracted dumpsters.
- City Parks including greenspaces and walking paths will remain open, however social distancing is encouraged in these spaces.. Residents are urged to stay off playground equipment, as their cleanliness cannot be guaranteed.
- Mayor’s Center for City Services will be taking calls from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and will continue to address concerns submitted through the PVD311 app or website.
The following City services and offices will REMAIN OPERATIONAL WITH the following LIMITATIONS:
- City planning applications, permits, and licensing reviews will require residents and businesses to use online and email tools for submission of materials and payment. In cases where this is not possible, documents can be dropped off at specified times or submitted through the drop-box located at the back entrance of 444 Westminster Street (accessible by the parking lot on Greene St).**
- All Public Works requests will be handled on a case by case basis as it relates to the safety and sanitation of the city.*
- The Inspections of buildings and other infrastructure will continue as regularly scheduled.*
- Tax Collection will be accessible online, by phone or by mail. Mailed payments should include quarterly coupon and a personal check, certified check or money order payable to the City of Providence.*
- Tax Assessment services will be accessible online. Time-sensitive documents, such as homestead exemption applications, are available online and can be mailed to City Hall or emailed to and will continue to be processed.*
- Vital Records will continue to receive documents for death certificates through the mail, at specified drop-off times** or using the City Hall drop-box accessible through Eddy Street. Select documents can be requested online and will be provided through the mail.
- Licensing will continue to receive documents online or through the mail.* New licenses will not be issued and all food, entertainment, and liquor licenses and licensing violation hearings will not be held until further notice.
- Public meetings that are non-essential will be postponed for the next 30 days, per the Governor’s Executive Order, and all essential meetings are encouraged to happen online or by phone as specified.
- Documents processed by the Recorder of Deeds can be mailed to City Hall or dropped-off during specified times.** Property history can be searched online, research prior to 2004 cannot be done at this time.
- Commission of Human Relations complaint intake will be accessible online only.
- All Finance and budget functions essential to core city operations and payroll will continue.*
- The Board of Contract and Supply will continue to receive bids on city contracts according to specified drop off hours** and on the same day that the Board of Contract and Supply meetings occur between the hours of 11AM and 2:15PM. For day-of drop-offs, documents can be submitted using the buzzer located next to the wheelchair-accessible entrance of City Hall on Eddy Street and giving the documents to a member of the City Clerk’s office.
The following City services and offices or buildings will be closed or suspended until further notice:
- Providence City Hall and all other municipal buildings
- Providence Public Schools and Buildings
- netWORKri Career Center
- All Recreation Centers
- The Botanical Center
- Museum of Natural History
- BankNewport City Center and Providence Rink
- Providence Housing Court
- Providence Probate Court
- Providence Municipal Court, as directed by the City Council.
- Special Event permit issuance
- Entertainment license issuance
- Board of Canvassers; residents looking to register to vote can do so online.
- All public programming from Parks, Recreation, and Art, Culture + Tourism
The following additional City services and offices will be AVAILABLE until further notice:
- Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch Services for youth 18 and under
- Grab and Go Dinner Meal Services for youth 18 and under
This is a rapidly changing situation. As the State’s recommendations to combat the spread of COVID-19 evolves, the City of Providence will continue to evaluate needs and make additional changes to city services and operations.
For more information on COVID-19 and best practices you can share, residents can visit our website, call to connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visit www.PVD311.com or download the PVD311 mobile app on your smartphone 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.
* Please note that there may be slight delays in carrying out these operations due to reduced staffing or helping address pandemic-related issues.
** Please note that select documents can be dropped off Tuesday and Thursday between 10AM and 1PM through the wheelchair-accessible entrance of City Hall on Eddy Street. Upon dropping off documents, please use the buzzer outside of the door and wait for assistance. Documents can also be submitted via drop-boxes located at City Hall, accessible through Eddy Street, and at the Doorley Municipal Building (444 Westminster Street), accessible through Greene Street. Drop-boxes will be checked twice a week, so processing may be delayed.